ST. CLOUD -- Stearns County small businesses and non-profit organizations may be eligible for low interest loans as a result of last fall's federal disaster declaration.

Stearns County was included in the disaster designation following drought conditions from September 1st through November 15th.

The federal economic injury loans can be up to $2-million.

Non-profit agencies can get an interest rate of just over 2.8% and small businesses can get the loans with a 4% interest rate.

The Small Business Administration determines eligibility based on the size of the business, type of activity and its financial resources. It can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that could have been paid if the disaster had not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

Electronic loan applications can be found on the SBA's website.