WASHINGTON – In response to a request last week from Senators Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.), today the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced it is extending the deadline for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to June 28, 2006. The application deadline for businesses affected by Hurricane Katrina was originally May 29th.

“I appreciate SBA's responsiveness to our request for an extension on this deadline,” Landrieu said. "Katrina-affected businesses needed this additional time to apply for these vital low-interest loans.”

Businesses located in the hurricane disaster declaration area that were adversely economically impacted can qualify for EIDL. The physical disaster loan deadline for residents and businesses was May 10th, which was extended a number of times. In Louisiana alone, over 18,000 businesses were catastrophically destroyed and more than 365,000 residents were displaced by the storms.

“Extending the deadline will extend the chance for businesses to create jobs and keep their doors open. The SBA deserves credit for extending the economic injury disaster loan deadline and responding to our request in a timely manner,” said Kerry, top Democrat on the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. “It is critical that Washington is doing everything possible to get the Gulf Coast residents the assistance they need for a full economic recovery.”

Landrieu and Kerry sent a letter May 26th to SBA Administrator Hector Barreto seeking the extended EIDL deadline. The letter was sent in response to concerns they heard from affected businesses during a May 5th tour and small business roundtable in New Orleans. They also will be tracking employment, business openings and closures, and other information important to the New Orleans region’s long-term economic recovery through a monthly update, as new figures are released, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.