SBA approves assistance for businesses affected by the Hard Rock Hotel collapse

BATON ROUGE — The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved assistance through low-interest federal disaster loans to New Orleans businesses affected by the Hard Rock Hotel collapse, which occurred on October 12.

Impacts to businesses near the structure are expected to continue well into 2020 due to street closures, structure stability, debris and clean up.

Surveys from the city indicate many businesses in the disaster area are being directly impacted by this event and are in need of immediate financial assistance.

Many more businesses are affected by the street closures, including those along Canal Street, a major artery for the city.

Gov. John Bel Edwards requested the SBA assistance after conversations with New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and other city officials.

The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) declaration covers Orleans Parish, along with Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammany parishes because they border Orleans Parish.

“This emergency involves a very unique situation,” said Gov. Edwards. “The hotel collapse in the heart of New Orleans included many challenges that extend beyond the initial response. We are pleased the SBA understands the needs and the economic impact to the region. We hope the SBA loans will help our businesses recover and continue operating while we all work to get this dangerous situation resolved.”

“SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist Louisiana’s small businesses with federal disaster loans. We will be swift in our efforts to help these small businesses recover from the financial impacts of this disaster,” said acting SBA Administrator Christopher M. Pilkerton.

“Small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” said Director Tanya N. Garfield of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West.

“These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing,” Garfield added.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans

If you have suffered substantial economic injury and are one of the following types of businesses located in a declared disaster area, you may be eligible for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL):

  • Small Business
  • Small agricultural cooperative
  • Most private nonprofit organizations
  • Loan Amounts and Use

Eligibility is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 4 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years and are restricted to small businesses without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

The deadline to apply for economic injury is Aug. 5, 2020.

The Louisiana Greater New Orleans and Bayou Region Small Business Development Center is offering free, personalized counseling to help affected businesses in their recovery. Businesses should call (504) 831-3730 for an appointment.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance.

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