SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Mississippi Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Extreme Drought

ATLANTA – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses economically impacted by the extreme drought that occurred Sept. 19 through Dec. 5, 2023, SBA’s Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman announced today. SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster following a request received from Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry on March 19. This declaration covers 13 counties in Mississippi that are adjacent to Louisiana and allows crawfish farmers in those counties to be eligible for SBA loan assistance.

“The SBA’s mission-driven team stands ready to help Mississippi small businesses affected by the drought and resulting crawfish shortage,” said Administrator Guzman. “We’re committed to providing federal disaster loans swiftly and efficiently, with a customer-centric approach to help businesses and communities weather this environmental and economic challenge.”

Crawfish acreage in these Mississippi counties: Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Hancock, Harrison, Issaquena, Jefferson, Marion, Pearl River, Pike, Walthall, Warren, and Wilkerson have been affected by the conditions of saltwater intrusion, drought, and high temperatures. Harvesters of crawfish, producers of other aquaculture related products, and business affiliated with aquaculture industries are specifically requested to follow this link to apply online

“Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to help meet working capital needs caused by this disaster,” said “Francisco Sánchez, Jr., associate administrator for the Office of Disaster Recovery and Resilience at the Small Business Administration.

Applicants may apply online and receive additional disaster assistance information at Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email for more information on SBA disaster assistance. For people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services.

“Under the Biden-Harris Administration, SBA is delivering relief for businesses affected by climate impacts like the drought conditions in Mississippi. This declaration offers much-needed assistance to small businesses engaged in aquaculture such as those who rely on the crawfish season. Small nonfarm businesses and small agricultural cooperatives of any size may also qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the drought not occurred,” said Sánchez.

“These loans may be used to pay normal operating expenses such as fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing,” Sánchez added.

Eligibility is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 4% for small businesses and 2.375% for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years and are restricted to small businesses without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Interest does not begin to accrue until 12 months from the date of the first disaster loan disbursement. SBA disaster loan repayment begins 12 months from the date of the first disbursement.

The deadline to apply for economic injury is Dec. 23, 2024.

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow, expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit