As of July 1, small businesses impacted by the 2016 Great Floods may apply for zero-interest loans. The Restore Louisiana Small Business Assistance program has just been expanded to include any businesses and eligible nonprofits that meet eligibility. Loans will be distributed from mid-July through the end of the year to eligible businesses in the 51 disaster-declared parishes.
A total of $43 million is available to eligible small businesses and nonprofit enterprises in no-interest, partially forgivable loans of $20,000 to $50,000. Loan applications are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis until all loan funds are exhausted. The money can be used for working capital, rent, mortgage, utilities, non-owner employee wages and inventory. It can also be used for repairing or replacing movable equipment and machinery. Construction-related expenses are not eligible.
Provided borrowers comply with requirements, loans are interest free, and 20 percent of the loan will be forgiven after 80 percent of the principal has been repaid. In addition, program participants may access technical assistance from Louisiana’s Small Business Development Centers for business recovery and continuity plans, financial projections and planning, and disaster preparedness planning. The program application, eligibility criteria, guidelines and lenders can be found at www.restore.la.gov.
Contact Shelia Wallace or Heather Daigrepont of Kisatchie-Delta Regional Planning & Development District at (318) 487-5454 to schedule an appointment for assistance with the application process.
Contact the Northwest and Central Region offices at Northwestern State University at 318-357-5611.