Senate approves plan to help businesses during droughts |

Senate approves plan to help businesses during droughts

Staff reports

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate has approved Sen. Harry Reid’s plan to provide small businesses with emergency help during severe drought.

The Small Business Drought Relief Act of 2003 will make many businesses eligible for low-interest disaster relief from the Small Business Association during droughts.

Reid, D-Nev., said the federal government already provides emergency help to farmers and ranchers. He said hotels, motels, campgrounds, marinas and related businesses also suffer when water supplies dry up.

He said the legislation will help those businesses survive and keep their employees.

“It’s especially important for Nevada right now because we’re in the middle of one of our worst droughts in decades,” he said.

All of Nevada was declared a disaster area last summer, which made most farmers and ranchers eligible for grants. Reid said the legislation now on its way to the House will provide the same access to emergency help for non-agricultural businesses.