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Monday, 15 August 2016 17:27

Louisiana flood updates: Disaster Loans, LABI, Landrieu, NOLA Pay it Forward

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LA FLOODBayoubuzz staff and writers offer their sorrows to all of those impacted by the horrific storm.  Should anyone have information wanting to provide to the public, please forward to [email protected]


Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to Louisiana businesses and residents as a result of President Obama’s major disaster declaration, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced.

The declaration covers East Baton Rouge, Livingston, Saint Helena and Tangipahoa parishes as a result of the severe storms and flooding that began on Aug. 11, 2016.

“SBA is strongly committed to providing Louisiana with the most effective and customer-focused response possible and with access to federal disaster loans to help Louisiana businesses and residents affected by this disaster,” said Contreras-Sweet. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

Businesses of all sizes 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. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

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 (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available to businesses regardless of any property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates can be as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.563 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, victims must first call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at (800) 621-FEMA (3362). As soon as Federal-State Disaster Recovery Centers open throughout the affected area, SBA will provide one-on-one assistance to disaster loan applicants. Additional information and details on the location of disaster recovery centers is available by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955.


The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) urges businesses affected by severe storms and flooding beginning Aug. 11, and continuing, to seek federal resources now available to assist with economic recovery. To help companies navigate the recovery process, LABI published a listing of resources online at

The President approved a major disaster declaration for the State of Louisiana Aug. 14. This declaration makes federal resources available to affected individuals and businesses in the parishes of East Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena and Tangipahoa.

"This flooding event will leave many long term challenges in its wake. We are currently reaching out to our members to gauge the impact and relay updated recovery and assistance information to them,” Stephen Waguespack, president of LABI, said.

“We also want to commend the many businesses that have stayed open late, offered services and reached out to help their fellow man in countless ways during these last few days. Those owners and employees have homes and families impacted as well, but they remain focused on helping their community recover. That spirit will continue to be counted on in the days and weeks to come. “

Any business impacted should register at for updated news alerts and recovery information and continue to check for updates.

Recovery Resources

Small Business Administration Disaster Loan
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, nonprofit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster’s adverse economic impact. Businesses can register for disaster assistance at or call 1-800-659-2955.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
FEMA provides updates on current disaster events and assistance for employees who have damage at their homes. Businesses who sustained losses in the designated parishes can begin applying for assistance online at or call 1-800-621-FEMA.

FEMA App: Be prepared and download the FEMA app free on the App Store and Google Play. Learn what to do before, during, and after emergencies with safety tips and receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five different locations. Click here to download the app.

Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center (LA BEOC)
The Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center (LA BEOC) is activated and assisting the state with the response and recovery of the current historic flooding event. LA BEOC provides disaster-specific communications from GOHSEP to industry associations and almost 2,200 registered member organizations to coordinate private-sector businesses and nonprofit organizations. It connects those who need resources with Louisiana resource providers during response and recovery from an emergency or disaster event. LA BEOC is open to any Louisiana business or organization, and there is no cost to join. Go to to view News Alerts and login to update your contact information if necessary.

Small Business Disaster Recovery
When a disaster occurs, businesses must take care of their employees’ needs, communicate the impact, address financial matters (e.g., insurance, disaster assistance), restore operations, and organize recovery. This Quick Guide includes resources to help reopen your business and make progress through long-term recovery. For more details, visit
Download the Small Business Recovery Quick Guide.

Donations can be made directly to the following organizations, which can help those in need most efficiently:
American Red Cross–Baton Rouge/Louisiana Chapter: 225-291-4533
Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank: 225-359-9940
Society of St. Vincent DePaul–Baton Rouge: 225-925-5255
Catholic Charities–Diocese of Baton Rouge: 225-924-3900
Key Contacts For Recovery Resources

Louisiana State Police
225-925-6325 or *LSP from any cell phone

American Red Cross

Louisiana Department of Justice

Consumer Protection Hotline

Cleco Corporation

Power Outages: 1-800-9OUTAGE


Washington St. Tammany Electric Cooperative
Power Outages: 1-866-672-9773


Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu reactivated the NOLA Pay It Forward Fund in partnership with the Greater New Orleans Foundation for New Orleanians to contribute to early recovery efforts following major flooding that started last week in most of northern Louisiana and parts of southern Louisiana.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this devastating flood,” Mayor Landrieu said. “The people of New Orleans know what it’s like to suffer through a disaster. We remember all of those who helped us when we needed it most, and through this fund, we hope to pay it forward to other communities that are starting to recover and rebuild.”

Mayor Landrieu launched the NOLA Pay it Forward Fund in May 2011 to contribute to recovery efforts following the Mississippi River flooding disaster. It was also activated in 2012 in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy to support recovery efforts in the northeast and in May 2013 following catastrophic tornadoes in Oklahoma.

The fund is housed with the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

"We are pleased to partner with the City of New Orleans to administer the NOLA Pay It Forward Fund," said Martha Landrum, Vice President for Marketing & Communications. "The Fund will provide resources for rebuilding efforts for communities impacted by the catastrophic flooding throughout Louisiana.”

Those interested in donating to the fund can go online to Donors can also contact Allie Betts, donor relations manager at the Greater New Orleans Foundation, at 504-598-4663 or [email protected]