Over the past month, the two hurricanes Laura and Delta rocked Southwest Louisiana. These massive storms have caused extensive damages to both businesses and residents, and their effects will be felt for months ahead.
Thankfully, there are those who are coming to the aid of people living in this area. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has made available low-interest federal disaster loans to Louisiana businesses and residents as a result of the president’s major disaster declaration, U.S. SBA’s Administrator Jovita Carranza announced. The declaration covers Acadia, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jeff Davis, and Vermilion parishes.
“SBA is strongly committed to providing Louisiana with the most effective and customer-focused response possible and with access to federal disaster loans to help businesses and residents affected by this disaster,” said Carranza. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”
In consideration of the public health concerns due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Saturday, October 17, SBA established a Virtual Business Recovery Center to provide personalized assistance to business owners. In addition, SBA has also opened a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center to help homeowners and renters. Customer Service Representatives will be available to business owners and individuals to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each person complete their electronic loan application.
Virtual Business Recovery Center and
Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center
Monday – Sunday (7 days/week)
8 a.m. – 8 p.m. EDT
Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available to businesses regardless of any property damage.
Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.
Interest rates can be as low as 3 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.188 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, survivors must first contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.disasterassistance.gov. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.