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  • Writer's pictureStaff @ LT&C

Low-Interest Federal Loans Now Available for Louisiana Drought Victims

The U.S. Small Business Administration is providing low-interest federal disaster loans to small businesses that have suffered economic impacts from the severe drought between September 19th and December 5th, 2023.

SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced on Thursday that the SBA took action independently to declare a disaster following a request from Governor Jeff Landry received on Tuesday.


Guzman stated, “The SBA’s mission-driven team stands ready to help Louisiana small businesses affected by the drought and resulting crawfish shortage. We’re committed to providing federal disaster loans swiftly and efficiently, with a customer-centric approach to help businesses and communities weather this environmental and economic challenge.”


The SBA's declaration extends assistance to all 64 parishes in Louisiana, as well as select counties in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas, including Ashley, Chicot, Columbia, Lafayette, Miller, and Union counties in Arkansas; Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Hancock, Issaquena, Jefferson, Marion, Pearl River, Pike, Walthall, Warren, and Wilkinson counties in Mississippi; Cass, Harrison, Jefferson, Marion, Newton, Orange, Panola, Sabine, and Shelby counties in Texas.


These loans can be utilized to cover regular operating costs such as fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other essential bills that have been impacted by the disaster. Guzman says that the loans will offer crucial economic support to small businesses grappling with temporary revenue loss.


The loans feature an interest rate of 4% for small businesses and 2.375% for private nonprofit organizations. They come with flexible terms of up to 30 years and are designed specifically for small businesses unable to absorb the adverse effects without significant financial strain.


About 365,000 acres of crawfish farming land in Louisiana have been impacted by a combination of saltwater intrusion, drought, and high temperatures. Those involved in crawfish harvesting, as well as businesses linked to aquaculture industries, are urged to apply for assistance through the provided link: SBA.gov/disaster.

U.S. Representative Clay Higgins (R-Lafayette) hailed the announcement as "excellent news."


“Last year’s drought severely impacted Louisiana’s crawfish industry and related businesses,” Higgins said. “This disaster assistance will protect our way of life and bring relief to those impacted by the disaster. Offering praise for Governor Landry, Higgins thanked the governor for “his dedication to our state.” 


Interested parties can apply online and access further disaster assistance details at SBA.gov/disaster. Additionally, they can reach out to SBA's Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or via email at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities can dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services.

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