SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The U.S. Small Business Administration and the SWLA Economic Development Alliance today announced the opening of an SBA Business Recovery Center in Lake Charles on Thursday, Oct. 15 to provide a wide range of services to businesses impacted by Hurricane Laura that occurred Aug. 22-27, 2020.

“Due to the severe property damage and economic losses inflicted on Louisiana businesses, we want to provide every available service to help get them back on their feet,” said SBA’s Director Tanya N. Garfield of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West. “The center will provide a one-stop location for businesses to access a variety of specialized help. SBA customer service representatives will be available to meet individually with each business owner,” she added.

According to SWLA Economic Development Alliance President George Swift, SBA’s disaster assistance team will be joining Chamber of Commerce staff at the Southwest Entrepreneurial and Economic Development (SEED) center to provide one-on-one assistance to the business community that has been devastated by Hurricane Laura. “We are very pleased to have SBA’s experts available to meet with business owners to discuss their individual situations,” Swift added.

Due to the COVID pandemic, services are provided by appointment only and all services are provided free of charge. To schedule an appointment to meet with an SBA customer service representative please call the SWLA Economic Development Alliance at (337) 433-3632. The center will open as indicated below.

CALCASIEU PARISH

Business Recovery Center

Southwest Entrepreneurial and Economic Development (SEED) Center

Willis Noland Conference Center, Second Floor

4310 Ryan St.

Lake Charles, LA 70605

Opens at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 15

Mondays – Fridays, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

“SBA customer service representatives will meet with each business owner to explain how an SBA disaster loan can help finance their recovery. They will answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each business owner complete their electronic loan application,” said Garfield.

So far, SBA has approved more than $300 million in federal disaster loans for Louisiana businesses and residents impacted by this terrible disaster. According to Garfield, SBA has approved $9,996,900 for businesses and $293,199,400 for residents to help rebuild and recover from this disaster.

Businesses of any size 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. These loans cover losses that are not fully covered by insurance or other recoveries.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

For business owners who are unable to visit the business recovery center, they may apply online using SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/.

SBA representatives will meet with business owners and residents at disaster recovery centers located throughout the impacted area as they are established. For a list of locations, or to receive additional disaster assistance information, visit SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email [email protected] for more information. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

The deadline to apply for property damage is Oct. 27, 20. The deadline to apply for economic injury is May 28, 2021.

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.