Business Report

The Louisiana Small Business Rebirth Fund has awarded another round of grants, distributing nearly $200,000 to 50 small businesses impacted by the August flooding across south Louisiana.

The fund, spearheaded by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and other regional business groups, awarded $350,000 to 57 businesses in early September. In total, the fund has dished out nearly $550,000 to 107 recipients.

“Our goal is that the Rebirth Fund provides some much-needed relief to those business owners stuck in limbo awaiting funds from insurance providers or federal and state entities,” LABI President and CEO Stephen Waguespack says in a statement issued today.

Second-round grants were made to small businesses in Acadia, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Lafayette, Livingston, St. Martin and Tangipahoa parishes, according to a news release. The recipients come from a variety of industries, including daycare, auto repair and service, restaurants, contractors, medical providers, grocery stores, retail and veterinary clinics.

The fund solicits donations from far and wide, then turns around and grants them to small businesses in need. Gifts from large and small businesses and individuals around the country made the second round of grants possible, the news release says.

The grants range from $1,000 to $10,000. Eligible small businesses must have been located within one of the parishes included in the federal disaster declaration area, have 50 or fewer employees, be registered with the Louisiana Secretary of State, and have been in business on Aug. 10, 2016.

“The volume of applications that the Rebirth Fund has received underscores the profound impact the flooding has had on small businesses,” Adam Knapp, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, says in a statement. “Their recovery is essential to the overall health of the regional economy, and many more are in need of assistance.”

The Rebirth Fund will continue to accept donations, and a third round of funding may occur depending on available resources. Anyone interested in contributing to the fund should visit www.LaBizRebirth.org.