Loan $$$ available for tornado victims

Published 12:12 am Saturday, May 7, 2016

LAPLACE — Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to St. John the Baptist Parish businesses and residents impacted by the F1 tornado that ripped through LaPlace Feb. 23, damaging more than 300 homes and 50 businesses through winds that exceeded 130 mph.

U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet declared a disaster following the denial of Louisiana’s appeal for a major disaster declaration last week.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in St. John the Baptist Parish, St. Charles Parish, St. James Parish and 11 other regional parishes impacted by severe weather in late February.

“SBA is strongly committed to providing Louisiana with the most effective and customer-focused response possible, and we will be there to provide access to federal disaster loans to help finance recovery for businesses and residents affected by the disaster,” Contreras-Sweet said. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

SBA’s Louisiana District Director Michael Ricks said low-interest federal disaster loans are available to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters whose property was damaged or destroyed by the disaster.

Beginning Monday, SBA representatives will be on hand at Disaster Loan Outreach Centers to answer questions about the disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each individual complete their application.

The St. John location is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at New Wine Christian Fellowship, 1929 W. Airline Highway in LaPlace.

The St. James location is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. until noon Friday at the Romeville Senior Center, 8188 Romeville St. in Convent.

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 also 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 occurring in the future.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate.

Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates can be as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.813 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years.

Disaster loan information and application forms are available by calling 800-659-2955 or emailing