Businesses and property owners who suffered damages during flash floods across southern Louisiana last month are now eligible for up to $2 million in emergency low-interest loans to aid in their recovery. 

The support became available for people in Ascension, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Iberville and Lafayette parishes after President Joe Biden approved Louisiana’s request for disaster assistance this week.

Along with grants for homeowners who live on their property and need assistance through FEMA, the federal government also offers low-interest loans through the U.S. Office of Disaster Assistance.

The disaster recovery loans make up to $2 million available for small businesses, nonprofits and those in the aquaculture industry, even they had no property damage.

“It’s a temporary capital infusion for a struggling business for something that was totally outside of their control,” said U.S. Office of Disaster Assistance spokesman Susheel Kumar.

The coverage can be used for several losses not covered by insurance, such as:

  • Repair and replace property not covered or under covered by insurance
  • Loss of income due to disruptions, such as a tenant moving out of rental properties
  • Rent
  • Inability to pay bills, such as utilities, fixed debts and continuation of healthcare benefits

Those seeking loans would be required to submit their losses with the SBA, which offers rates at about 2.8% and up to 30 years with no early repayment penalties.

People needing the loans should first file claims with their insurance companies before filing for the loans, which are provided through the National Treasury, Kumar said.

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More than 1,100 people in East Baton Rouge Parish and over 1,800 others across the state reported damages following last month’s deluge. Parts of the Baton Rouge area were hammered by as much as 13.7 inches of rain during the heaviest downpours, which saw rapidly rising floodwaters seep into people’s homes.

More than 1,600 have submitted recovery assistance notices with FEMA as of Friday, according to the agency.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission also announced Friday that it began offering disaster unemployment assistance for workers and people who are self-employed in the impacted parishes.

Eligibility for disaster unemployment assistance includes:

  • People who were scheduled to begin work but are unable to because of the disaster
  • Workers unable to reach their job or self-employment location because of the disaster
  • Those who can no longer work because of physical damage to their workplace
  • Workers who cannot perform work due to a physical injury suffered from the disaster
  • People who became breadwinners or major support in their household following the death of the head of household

Applicants can file their applications on the Workforce commission website or by calling 1-866-783-5567.

The deadline to apply for those benefits is July 6.

Email Youssef Rddad at, and follow him on Twitter @youssefrddad