Friday, September 7, 2012

Business Recovery Centers opening for Isaac victims

The Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) has many members that were impacted by Hurricane Isaac’s vicious flooding and massive power outages. We are pleased to share that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the La. Dept. of Economic Development (LED) and the La. Small Business Development Centers (LSBDCs) are opening three centers to assist with storm related impacts to business owners. Additional centers will come on line in the next few days.

Centers are opening beginning Sept. 7
to assist businesses impact by
Hurricane Isaac.
“Some of our member restaurants were located in the areas most impacted by Hurricane Isaac,” said Stan Harris, LRA President/CEO. “These centers will provide much needed resources for the restaurant owners in areas like Manchac, Madisonville, Mandeville, LaPlace, Slidell and in Plaquemines Parish who sustained significant damage from the storm as they work to recover losses and rebuild their businesses.”  

Centers are located in Plaquemines, Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, St. John and St. Tammany Parishes. Specialists from the SBA and LSBDCs will be available to meet individually with each business owners. SBA customer service representatives will be available to meet individually with each business owner to explain how an SBA disaster loan can help finance their recovery.

“Due to the severe property damage and economic loss Hurricane Isaac inflicted on businesses in Louisiana, we want to provide every available service to help get them back on their feet,” said Michael Ricks, SBA’s Louisiana District Director. “These centers will provide a one-stop location for businesses to access a variety of specialized help. We can answer your questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and issue and accept your completed application.”

The LRA regularly works with LSBDCs, referring members with specific business needs which they are designed to handle on an individual basis and free of charge.

“LSBDC representatives are highly-trained and experienced to provide counseling on a wide variety of matters designed to help these business owners re-establish their operations, how to overcome the effects of the disaster and plan for their future,” said Stephen Moret, LED Secretary.

LSBDC will also provide program information, answer questions and help businesses apply for this much needed financial help. No appointment is necessary, and all services are provided free of charge.

“Services include assessing business economic injury, evaluating the business’ strength, cash flow projections and most importantly, a review of all options to ensure each business makes decisions that are appropriate for its situation,” said Ricks.

Businesses of any size and private, nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. These loans cover losses that are not fully covered by insurance or other recoveries.

For small businesses, small agriculture cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private and nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

Business owners may also get help from SBA representatives at any Disaster Recovery Center in Louisiana. They may also contact SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, or email, or visit

Business Recovery Centers will open at the times and locations found here.

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