50 small businesses get $200,000 in flood-aid grants


Fifty small businesses damaged by the August floods were awarded $200,000 in grants during the second round of funding by the Louisiana Small Business Rebirth Fund.

During the first round, 57 businesses received $350,000 in grants. Second-round grants went to small businesses in Acadia, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Lafayette, Livingston, St. Martin and Tangipahoa parishes. The recipients’ businesses covered a range of industries, including daycare, auto repair and service, restaurants, contractors, medical providers, grocery stores, retail and veterinary clinics.

“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, said in a news release. “Their recovery is essential to the overall health of the regional economy, and many more are in need of assistance.”

Samuel Wilson, of Trash Talk Junk Removal Inc. of Baton Rouge, said his company is one of the many local businesses that need the financial support of parish, state, federal, private and other agencies. Wilson said he is grateful to the Rebirth Fund for helping him secure much-needed equipment to continue Trash Talk’s revitalization efforts.

“As we approach the two-month mark of recovery efforts, it is more critical than ever to ensure that our small businesses have the resources they need to survive and that those resources are efficiently and effectively delivered,” said Stephen Waguespack, president and CEO of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI). “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.”

The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, GNO Inc., the Louisiana Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, the Louisiana Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and One Acadiana teamed up for the fund. Donations to the Rebirth Fund from large and small businesses as well as individuals around the country made the second round of grants possible. Donations are tax deductible and 100 percent is awarded directly to affected small businesses.

The Rebirth Fund will continue to accept donations, and will make a determination on a third round of funding based on available resources. The website is www.LaBizRebirth.org.

You can read the full article here.