Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Office of Community Development has made two important changes to the Restore Louisiana Small Business Program, which offers interest-free, partially forgivable loans to businesses impacted by the 2016 floods.
Under the changes, interest-free loans available through the program now range from $10,000 to $150,000. The previous range was $20,000 to $50,000.
In addition, OCD has extended the deadline until Oct. 31 for submitting loan applications. As a result, flood-impacted small businesses and nonprofits interested in a loan are encouraged to apply immediately through one of the participating lenders.
The Small Business Program is designed to help eligible businesses in the 51 parishes impacted by the March and August 2016 floods. If borrowers comply with all requirements, the loans are interest free, and 20 percent of the loan is forgiven when 80 percent of the principal is repaid.
The loans can be used for working capital ‒ rent, mortgage, utilities, non-owner employee wages and inventory, and movable equipment. However, construction-related expenses are not eligible. A list of eligibility criteria is available here.
Eligible borrowers are also referred to a local office of the Small Business Administration’s Small Business Development Centers. The centers offer technical expertise with business recovery and continuity plans, financial projecting and planning, and disaster preparedness planning.
Last modified: October 4, 2017