Biz New Orleans
BATON ROUGE (AP) – Business and economic development groups from across south Louisiana have teamed up to launch the Louisiana Small Business Rebirth Fund, which aims to give grants to companies hurt by the historic flood.
Ansley Zehnder, a spokeswoman for the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, said in a news release the fund will give grants of between $1,000 to $10,000 to small businesses.
While the exact scope of the damage from the flooding that started Aug. 12 is still being determined, the chamber said there are an estimated 12,000 small businesses located in areas that took on floodwater.
To be eligible for the funding, a business must be located in the 20 parishes included in the federal disaster declaration, have 50 or fewer employees and have been in business on Aug. 10.
According to the group’s website:
Louisiana has recently experienced a flooding event of historic proportions. As the water recedes along the I-12 and I-10 corridor, our families, friends and colleagues are beginning the challenging work of recovery. This is particularly true for the thousands of businesses flooded as a result of the storm, especially those small businesses that serve as the backbone to our local economies. The Baton Rouge Area Chamber, Greater New Orleans Inc., the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, the Louisiana Association of Chambers of Commerce Executives, the Louisiana Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, and One Acadiana are partnering to provide small businesses with “triage” grants to help them get restarted.
Help Where It’s Needed
While federal recovery programs are helpful, they cannot be solely relied upon by those small businesses hit hard by this tragedy.
Donations to the Louisiana Small Business Rebirth Fund that will be used to provide grants to those small businesses trying desperately to reopen and serve their community. 100% of the funds will flow directly to Louisiana small businesses, and contributions are tax deductible. An independent review team will consider each application on the merits and prioritize those requests that will help get the business back on its feet and save the jobs in that area. Information on how to apply for the grants will be released very soon.
For other resources for business disaster relief, please visit:
• Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center
• Baton Rouge Area Chamber – Recovery Resources
• Louisiana Economic Development
• Louisiana Association of Business and Industry Disaster Resources
• One Acadiana
• Louisiana Chamber of Commerce Executives (LACCE)
• Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI)
• Greater New Orleans, Inc.
• Baton Rouge Area Chamber
To donate by phone or for more information on the Louisiana Small Business Rebirth Fund, contact Elena Lacour at (225) 215-6647 or firstname.lastname@example.org.