As California enters the third year of its current drought, federal funds are available for agricultural businesses as well as non-farm small businesses that do business directly with farmers and ranchers.

Marin County officials offered a reminder Monday about the funds available in all 58 California counties, which were declared primary disaster areas in December by the U.S Department of Agriculture.

“We want to raise awareness of the financial opportunities this drought designation provides because it may help some of these small businesses hampered by our continuing severe drought conditions,” said Marin County Agricultural Commissioner Stefan Parnay.

Farmers and ranchers interested in a disaster loan can apply on the USDA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/farm-loan-programs/index. Eligible businesses may apply for disaster loans through Dec. 8.

Small, non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private nonprofits can apply for the loans by contacting the SBA at (800) 659-2955 or by email. Hearing impaired individuals may call (800) 877-8339. 

More information is available on the SBA website at www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance.