Aid OK’d for businesses affected by hotel’s partial collapse

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Businesses in New Orleans affected by the partial collapse of a hotel under construction are eligible for low-interest federal disaster loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The Hard Rock Hotel was under construction when part of it collapsed Oct. 12. Three people were killed.

Gov. John Bel Edwards requested the SBA assistance after talking with New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and other officials. The loan declaration covers Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammany parishes. Edwards says he hopes the loans will help businesses recover and continue operating.

Tanya N. Garfield, director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West, says the loans of up to $2 million can be used to pay bills, including payroll. Applicants may apply online or call SBA’s Customer Service Center.

The application deadline is Aug. 5.

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