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Small businesses affected by COVID-19 may apply for federal disaster loans

Posted at 12:26 AM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 01:28:47-04

LAFAYETTE — There is assistance available for small businesses that are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Businesses with 500 or fewer employees can apply for federal disaster loans through the Small Business Administration.

In order to do so, business owners can go to any bank or financial institution and fill out an application.

"The loans are designed to be used for payroll for the eight-week period following loan funding," explained Darren Guidry, Chief Credit Officer and Vice President of Home Bank.

There is also an option for loan forgiveness.

"If the funds are used for payroll for the eight weeks and it's exactly or beyond the amount of the loan requested, there's a likelihood that the entire debt will be forgiven by the SBA," said Guidry.

One of the several small businesses that would benefit from a disaster loan is The Potato Place in Lafayette.

Owner Marilyn Zerangue says they've lost about 50 percent of their business because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Not knowing how long it's going to last, I decided to just go ahead and go through with the application," said Zerangue.

She is among the hundreds of thousands of small owners who have already applied for the SBA loan.

"Just makes it easier on the owner, not so much stress, knowing that you don't have to take out of your personal savings to keep your business going," said Zerangue.

And, starting April 10, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses.

The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020. The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 21, 2020.

For more information, click here.