Businesses in three parishes eligible for federal disaster assistance
BATON ROUGE - Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration has granted his request that three parishes qualify for disaster assistance loans as a result of tornadoes that caused swaths of damage in February.
The relief aid will apply to businesses damaged by the high winds of Feb. 23-24. Assumption, St. James and St. John parishes are covered.
The SBA provides low-interest, long-term loans for physical and economic damage caused by a declared disaster. The SBA issued the declaration after the state’s appeal for major disaster declaration was denied on Apr. 29.
“After meeting the families and seeing the devastation left in the wake of the tornadoes that passed through these three parishes, I promised to do everything within my power to ensure that they would get access to the resources needed to rebuild,” Gov. Edwards said. “My team and I are doing all we can to follow through on that promise. This decision by the SBA is another step toward their recovery. It is my hope and prayer that these families will be able to get back to their normal lives as soon as possible.”
The three parishes that qualify are now eligible for three different types of disaster assistance loans:
1) Home and Personal Property Loans: If you are in a declared disaster area and are the victim of a disaster, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the SBA, even if you don't own a business.
2) Business Physical Disaster Loans: Any business or organization located in a declared disaster area and that incurred damage during the disaster may apply for a loan to help replace or restore damaged property.
3) Economic Injury Disaster Loans: If you are in a declared disaster area and have suffered economic injury regardless of physical damage, you may qualify for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).
Note that businesses in any parish that borders the three affected parishes qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans only. The eligible parishes include Ascension, Assumption, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, Tangipahoa and Terrebonne.
The SBA says 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 only 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 happening in the future.
SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by disasters. EIDL aid is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. More details can be obtained by calling SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or by emailing email@example.com. You can also find more information at sba.gov/disaster.