Louisiana News

SBA official: Louisiana businesses will be eligible for COVID-19 disaster loans

(The Center Square) – Businesses across Louisiana affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and response will be able to apply for U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loans, SBA regional administrator Justin Crossie said Wednesday.
Companies that already have SBA-backed loans through other programs can ask to delay their payments for six months, though the lender will make the final decision, Crossie said.
Usually, decisions about areas that qualify for low-interest disaster loans are made on a parish-by-parish or county-by-county basis, Crossie said. On Tuesday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards asked for SBA assistance for Orleans and Jefferson, the state’s hardest-hit parishes, while noting that he expected eventually to request help for the entire state.
But due to the “unique” circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic, the SBA is approving eligibility for entire affected states at once, and Louisiana has been approved, Crossie said.
“[The approval] is signed, and it’s making its way back down,” he said. “Louisiana has been declared [eligible].”
Longstanding loan programs still are available. When the disaster loans are available, companies can borrow up to $2 million to make up for their temporary loss of revenue.
Louisiana Congressman Garret Graves, who hosted an online briefing with Crossie, said he did not expect the SBA loans to constitute a “duplication of benefits” with other relief payments expected from the federal government. Graves said he would work to make that “crystal clear” in whatever legislation is passed.
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