SBA financing is available to homeowners and tenants – L’Observateur


LAPLACE – The Small Business Administration is the primary source of funding for rebuilding the community through low interest loans for homeowners, renters, businesses, and nonprofits.

St. John the Baptist Ward president Jaclyn Hotard recently sat down with Yolanda Stokes, Public Information Officer for the Small Business Administration to discuss the options available to residents.

The SBA Recovery Center in St. John the Baptist Parish is open Monday through Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the River Region Chamber of Commerce at 390 Belle Terre Blvd. in LaPlace.

It is a widespread misconception that the SBA only gives companies economic relief. According to Stokes, St. John Parish homeowners may be eligible for up to $ 200,000 for home repairs or replacements, in addition to up to $ 40,000 for the contents. The loans have an interest rate of 1.563% and, similar to a mortgage, can be financed with a term of up to 30 years.

Renters are also entitled to up to $ 40,000 for content replacement or repair, including personal items such as furniture, vehicles, or clothing that was lost or damaged during the storm. SBA has its own inspectors to help identify losses.

Residents can apply for an SBA loan even if they have insurance or FEMA assistance. Hotard and Stokes stressed that SBA loans can help fill the gaps left by other forms of assistance so residents can start home repairs sooner.

“We know a lot of people are working with their insurance companies right now and the insurance companies are being bombed,” said Stokes. “Sometimes we can provide SBA funding to residents before the insurance is billed.”

Stokes added that residents can use their insurance severance payment to repay the loan. There is no obligation to take out the loan once you are approved, and the loan can be terminated at any time by calling or writing to the SBA.

“It can’t hurt to apply for this loan,” said Stokes. “Your insurance company, FEMA, and the SBA may give you individual sums of money to get you back to your condition before the disaster. The aim is to get everyone back to where they were before this disaster. “

SBA requires collateral for loans over $ 25,000 if available, although collateral is not required. Stokes added that the SBA is not a creditworthiness based lender. However, the SBA will check the credit history to make sure the person has made an effort to pay bills.

In addition to low interest rates and extended terms, a five-month postponement of the first payment is another tool to make SBA loans affordable.

With Hurricane Ida being a separate disaster from the COVID-19 crisis, those who borrowed for financial damage during the pandemic will still be able to receive SBA assistance for storm recovery.

For more information or to apply, call the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or visit

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