The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of all sizes that April 19 is the filing deadline for federal economic injury disaster loans.

These working capital loans are available in the following counties: Berks, Carbon, Columbia, Dauphin, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Schuylkill and Northumberland as a result of excessive rain, flooding, high winds and tornadoes from March 15 through May 24, 2011.

"When the Secretary of Agriculture issues a disaster declaration to help farmers recover from damages and losses to crops, the Small Business Administration issues a declaration to eligible entities affected by the same disaster," said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA's Field Operations Center East.

Under this declaration, the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. With the exception of aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, or ranchers.

The loan amount can be up to $2 million with a 4 percent interest rate for eligible small businesses and 3 percent for non-profit organizations with terms up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

Disaster loan information and application forms may be obtained by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Loan applications can also be downloaded from www.sba.gov. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Those affected by the disaster may also apply for loans electronically from SBA's website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than April 19, 2012.