Demonstrating a strong commitment to help businesses affected by last year’s devastating hurricanes that struck the Gulf Coast and Florida, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has already approved over $1.1 billion in loans through a combination of the agency’s direct disaster loan and regular loan guarantee programs.

More than 9,700 low-interest, SBA disaster loans, totaling over $791 million have been approved for businesses in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama and Florida following the hurricanes. More than 1,740 loans totaling more than $334 million have been made to small businesses in the affected areas through the SBA’s two main business loan programs.

“Helping the business community following these terrible disasters is one of our top priorities,” says SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto. “As they recover, they will also lay the foundation for a renewed economic base. These loans will also help businesses grow again and create jobs, helping to revitalize their communities.”

Through January 26, the SBA has approved almost 51,350 disaster loans for nearly $3.6 billion to homeowners, renters and businesses affected by last year’s hurricanes.