The Louisiana Small Business Development Center encourages small business owners and entrepreneurs to register for disaster assistance as a result of the severe storms and flooding that began on August 11. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) along with state and other local agencies will provide assistance to individuals and entrepreneurs who have been impacted by the Louisiana Flood. Parishes designated to receive assistance by FEMA include: Acadia, Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Lafayette, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. Landry, Tangipahoa, and Vermilion parishes. Governor Edwards also emphasized if a victim’s parish is not currently included in the federal declaration, the victim must register by phone by calling 1-800-621-3362. U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced that low-interest federal disaster loans are also available to Louisiana businesses and residents as a result of President Barack Obama’s major disaster declaration. Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future. For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available to businesses regardless of any property damage. The Internal Revenue Service also announced Louisiana storm victims will have until Jan. 17, 2017, to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments. All workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization also qualify for relief. The IRS said that affected taxpayers in the designated parishes will receive tax relief and other special tax relief. The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Aug. 11, 2016. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Jan. 17, 2017 to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period. This includes the Sept. 15 deadline for making quarterly estimated tax payments. For individual tax filers, it also includes 2015 income tax returns that received a tax-filing extension until Oct. 17, 2016.
Assistance available to businesses impacted by Louisiana Flood