BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A lending program is now accepting applications from Louisiana small businesses and nonprofits affected by disasters in 2020-21, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced on Monday.

The Restore Louisiana Business Loan Program aims to help small businesses with non-construction expenses using federal dollars.

“Louisiana’s small businesses have and will continue to shape our local and state economies, and we’re pleased to announce that this avenue to recovery is now available,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “This program provides critical assistance to Louisiana businesses that were adversely impacted by the 2020-21 disaster events, and I encourage all eligible businesses to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more and apply.”

According to the governor’s office, Louisiana has allocated $96.1 million through the Small Business Loan Program and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has allocated over $3 billion in recovery funds after Hurricanes Laura, Delta and Ida as well as the severe weather event in May 2021.

“To qualify for a loan, businesses must have 1-50 full-time employees; have been open at the time of the disaster event; have a minimum of $25,000 in annual gross revenues before the disaster event; be located in one of the program’s eligible parishes; experienced a financial or physical loss as a result of a 2020-21 disaster event; and have an eligible unmet need. Loan award amounts will range from $10,000 minimum to $150,000 maximum, based on a calculation of unmet needs and eligible expenses,” Edwards’ office said in a news release.

For more about eligibility requirements and how to apply, click here.

“This program presents Louisiana small businesses with an opportunity for economic revitalization at a time when our communities are still recovering from storm damage and revenue losses,” said OCD Executive Director Pat Forbes. “Our selected lenders are eager to provide this much-needed loan assistance to eligible small businesses, and I look forward to this program’s positive impacts for our businesses, economies and communities.”