Helping businesses affected by flooding

Small businesses affected by the 2016 severe storms and flooding events still have a chance to get financial assistance from the state.

The Restore Louisiana Small Business Program is offering zero percent interest loans to businesses affected by the March or August floods in 50 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes, including Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Jeff Davis and Vernon.

Loan payments range from $20,000 to $50,000, and 20 percent of the loan may be eligible for forgiveness. No principal payments are due for the first six months of the five-year loan.

Kim Evans, communications director at TruFund Financial Services, one of the loan intermediaries, said the program’s purpose is to help businesses that either didn’t receive loans after the floods or did receive them but still have unmet financial needs.

{{tncms-inline alignment=”left” content=”<p><em>“Small-business owners are the economic lifelines of our local communities, and we must do everything we can to provide critical financial support during these challenging times.” </em></p> <p style="text-align: right;">- Kim Evans </p>” id=”18f27c96-5d0e-4941-8aa7-e61cac91a0ff” style-type=”quote” title=”Pull Quote” type=”relcontent” width=”full”}}

“We hope that this program will assist these deserving families in moving forward,” Evans said.

She said applications will be accepted through June 30. Those looking for more information can participate in one of TruFund’s virtual sessions 11 a.m.-noon and 6-7 p.m. June 12, 14, 20 or 27. She said login information can be found at trufund.org, by calling 866-329-8939 or by emailing restorelouisiana@trufund.org.

TruFund will also hold an informational meeting 2-4 p.m. June 19 in the SEED Center. Evans encouraged business owners to participate in a virtual session before attending the meeting so they’ll be prepared to fill out an application at the event.

The window for applications opened May 26, and TruFund has been getting them daily, Evans said.

Donna Little, director of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University, said she expects many of the businesses in Southwest Louisiana that were affected by the floods didn’t take advantage of assistance programs immediately afterward.

“The ones that were affected, I have a feeling they were pretty small and just weren’t ready to tackle a business loan,” Little said. “However, these low-interest loans could be very helpful to them.”

The program is funded through federal Community Development Block Grant funds and is managed by the state Office of Community Development. Intermediaries like TruFund and the South Central Planning & Development Commission are responsible for bringing the program to the businesses that need it.

Businesses must demonstrate at least $10,000 “out of pocket” physical damage or have suffered a 20 percent loss of revenue. They must have had a minimum pre-storm annual gross revenue of $25,000 and be operating now or demonstrate the ability to reopen. They must also have at least one full-time worker and no more than 50.

{{tncms-inline alignment=”left” content=”<p>Visit <a href="http://restore.la.gov" target="_blank">restore.la.gov</a> or call 866-735-2001 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday</p>” id=”dca89497-6921-4e85-bee3-c84acc893fb6″ style-type=”info” title=”For More Information” type=”relcontent” width=”full”}}

Visit restore.la.gov or call 866-735-2001 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday

“Small-business owners are the economic lifelines of our local communities, and we must do everything we can to provide critical financial support during these challenging times.” 

– Kim Evans 

SportsPlus

McNeese Sports

Former Cowboy MacIntyre wins again

Local News

Penn. governor: Man killed at Trump rally ‘died a hero’

Local News

UPDATE: Fire chief who died at Trump rally used his body to shield others

Local News

UPDATE: Trump calls for unity after assassination attempt

Local News

Iowa Mayor Neal Watkins speaks about effort to oust him from office

Business

Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business

Local News

UPDATE: Trump says bullet pierced right ear

Local News

UPDATE: Shooting at Trump rally being investigated as assassination attempt

Local News

UPDATE: Trump ‘fine’ after being whisked off stage

Local News

Trump rushed off stage by Secret Service as bangs heard at Pennsylvania rally

Local News

Unrestrained driver, passenger killed in Beauregard crash

Local News

School Board gives Van Metre four-year contract

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Traffic cameras are targeted

Crime

UPDATE: Victim identified in Sulphur officer-involved shooting

Local News

Area medical facilities have treated dozens for heat-related illnesses

McNeese Sports

SLC releases basketball schedules

life

SW La. nightlife calendar: There’s always something to do

life

Calcasieu SerialFest flying high with tribute to superheroes

Crime

7/12: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Business

Jennings considers requiring commercial parking lots to have concrete, asphalt or approved decorative paving

Business

Industrial tax exemption supported for solar energy farm

Crime

Grandmother of 4-year-old found dead: ‘I knew he was in danger’

Local News

Neighbors unite to fight construction of townhome development at corner of Ernest and W. Claude streets

life

Lindsay Gaar represents city at Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C.