Baton Rouge: The U.S. Small Business Administration, Louisiana Economic Development and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network today announced that Business Recovery Centers will open in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Baker, Prairieville and Amite to provide a wide range of services to businesses impacted by recent flooding. A sixth center, in Walker, began serving businesses in Livingston Parish and neighboring areas on Thursday.
LED is providing a complete resource guide for flood assistance at OpportunityLouisiana.com.
The new Business Recovery Centers will be open at the following locations and times:
- Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Archives, 3851 Essen Lane (near Interstate 12), Mondays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Lafayette: Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE) Executive Conference Room, 537 Cajundome Blvd., Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.
- Baker: Baker Workforce Development Center, 3262 Baker Blvd., Mondays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.
- Prairieville: BancorpSouth Bank, 13423 Louisiana 73, Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Amite: Amite Chamber of Commerce, 101 SE Central Ave., Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.
The Amite center will open for the first time Saturday, Aug. 20, at 9 a.m. The other four new centers will begin operations Monday.
The Livingston Parish facility, which began operations Thursday, is located at the Southeastern Louisiana University Literacy and Technology Center, Room 101, 9261 Florida Blvd. in Walker. It is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
SBA wants to provide every available service to help businesses in Louisiana get up and running again following the severe property damage and economic losses inflicted by the flooding, SBA’s Louisiana District Director Michael Ricks said. The centers provide a one-stop location for businesses to access a variety of specialized help.
No appointment is necessary, and all services are provided free of charge. Specialists from SBA and LSBDC will be available to meet individually with each business owner; the SBA representatives can explain how an SBA disaster loan can help finance their recovery and guide the business owner through the application process.
LSBDC consultants at the center will provide counseling on a wide variety of matters designed to help small business owners re-establish their operations, overcome the effects of the disaster and plan for their future, LSBDC State Director Rande Kessler said. Services include assessing business economic injury, evaluating the business’s strength, cash flow projections and, most importantly, a review of all options to ensure each business makes decisions that are appropriate for its situation.
LSBDC representatives also will provide program information, answer questions and help businesses apply for this much-needed financial help, Kessler said.
LED Secretary Don Pierson, Ricks and Kessler want to ensure that impacted businesses secure the financial assistance they need to resume normal operations.
LED spearheaded the partnership with SBA and LSBDCs to launch the Business Recovery Centers, Pierson said. The highly trained and experienced team of consultants staffing the centers will be available to provide business consulting services designed to help these business owners re-establish their operations and plan for their future, he said.
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 agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans 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 apply online using SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or get help from SBA representatives at any disaster recovery center in Louisiana. Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877 8339. For more disaster assistance information or to download applications, visit http://www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.