By Kathie Obradovich | Iowa Capital Dispatch

The U.S. Small Business Administration has issued a disaster declaration for Iowa that will allow small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to qualify for low-interest support loans, Gov. Kim Reynolds’ office announced Saturday.

The disaster declaration for the state is for the period beginning Jan. 31, 2020 and is continuing.

“This SBA Disaster Loan program is vital in assisting our small businesses that have been so heavily impacted by these unprecedented times,” Reynolds said in a news release. “I will continue to work with President Trump and his administration to provide relief to Iowa small businesses as we combat the spread of COVID-19 in Iowa.”

SBA loans are available statewide to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations that have taken an economic hit due to the infectious illness caused by a coronavirus. SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance that can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills.

The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay, according to a news release.

Applications can be made via the SBA’s website. For more information, contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or email  disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.