WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) today announced the availability of low-interest loans for small businesses along the Gulf Coast being adversely affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Following the announcement, Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, said:

“The SBA is continuing to be proactive in their efforts to offer financial relief to businesses being affected by the oil spill in coastal Louisiana. Their quick response to this devastation will allow Louisiana’s fishermen and coastal businesses to continue their work in an area still recovering from the hurricanes five years later. As we continue to assess the potential effects of this oil spill, I am committed to working with Administrator Mills to ensuring that Louisiana businesses do not suffer as a result of this accident. We are continuing to coordinate our efforts to relieve the financial burden these businesses face, and I call on my colleagues in Congress to stand with us to support businesses along the Gulf Coast.”

The declaration covers the Louisiana Parishes of Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammany, the neighboring Louisiana Parishes of Assumption, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne and Washington and the neighboring Mississippi counties of Hancock and Pearl River.

With these Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), fishing and fishing-dependent businesses are eligible for working capital loans of up to $2 million at an interest rate of 4 percent with terms up to 30 years. The loans may be used by small businesses that are unable to obtain credit elsewhere to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.

Last week, Sen. Landrieu sent a letter to SBA Administrator Karen Mills requesting specific relief for small businesses along the coast, including temporary deferment of payments on existing disaster loans. To read a copy of the letter sent, please click here.