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May 04, 2010
BATON ROUGE – Today, Governor Bobby Jindal sent the following letter to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) requesting that the SBA issue an economic injury disaster declaration for six parishes including, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammany. This economic injury disaster declaration would make available Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to small businesses and private, non-profits in the declared parishes and contiguous parishes that have been impacted by the oil spill.
Full Letter Below:
May 4, 2010
The Honorable Karen G. Mills
Dear Administrator Mills:
The State of Louisiana requests an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Declaration as a result of a catastrophic explosion that occurred April 20, 2010, causing an oil spill from an offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil spill entered state territorial waters on Friday, April 30 and continues to threaten landfall. The resulting oil leak is currently releasing thousands of barrels of oil per day into the Gulf and will continue to do so until successfully controlled, which may take many weeks or months. This oil spill has the potential to become the worst oil spill in history, surpassing the Exxon Valdez oil spill that occurred in 1989. The current oil spill is threatening hundreds of species of fish, birds and other wildlife along the Gulf Coast, one of the world's richest habitats for shrimp, oysters, crab and other marine life.
Federal and state officials began to close fishing areas and oyster harvesting beds in response to the oil spill on April 30. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has ordered the closure of all fishing grounds from the mouth of the Mississippi River east into Florida. The closure of these vital fisheries will have a devastating impact to the economy of southern Louisiana. As a result, I hereby certify in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations 13, Chapter 1, Part 123.3 that at least five (5) small businesses within the parishes of Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammany have suffered substantial economic injury as a direct result of the oil spill. As the 2010 Louisiana license holders data in the table below suggests, within those six parishes alone there are thousands of licensed commercial fishermen, shrimpers, oystermen and crabbers, and virtually all of them are small businesses. Furthermore, there are also at least hundreds of “downstream” seafood-related businesses (e.g., seafood processors, fresh product sales operations) in these six parishes that will also likely suffer substantial economic injury, including many small businesses.
2010 Louisiana License Holders by Parish (as of April 30, 2010)
Source: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
I further certify that the degree of economic injury suffered is so severe that financial assistance at reasonable rates and terms is not otherwise available. I request that the SBA declare an Economic Injury Disaster Declaration that entitles local business owners to apply for federally subsidized loans.
Cc: Mr. Alfred E. Judd, Director