The Restore Louisiana program has launched a statewide survey this week for small businesses affected by the March and August 2016 floods. The small business survey is separate from Restore Louisiana’s survey of flood-impacted homeowners.
Restore Louisiana is a compilation of programs setup to help those affected by the 2016 March and August floods in their recovery process. Specifically, the Restore Louisiana Small Business and Technical Assistance programs provides assistance to eligible small businesses in the form of interest-free loans that are 20 percent forgivable and technical assistance.
Developed by Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Office of Community Development, the Restore Louisiana Task Force and Louisiana Economic Development, the small business survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and does not require supporting documentation. The survey is available online here. It can be submitted anonymously and is not tied to applying for a loan through the program.
The small business survey will help the Restore Louisiana Task Force and the Governor’s Office of Community Development to assess the needs of the businesses that were affected by the storms. In addition, it will provide information that will help develop programs and seek additional federal funding.
The information gathered will provide crucial data in determining the specific needs of flood-impacted businesses and ongoing development of financial assistance programs.
Meanwhile, the Restore Louisiana Small Business Assistance Program remains open for eligible, flood-impacted companies and nonprofits. The $43 million program provides no-interest, partially forgivable loans of $20,000 to $50,000.
The money can be used for working capital, rent, mortgage, utilities, non-owner employee wages and inventory. It also can be used for repairing or replacing movable equipment and machinery, though construction-related expenses are not eligible.
If borrowers comply with program requirements, the loans are interest free, and 20 percent of the loan will be forgiven when 80 percent of the principal is repaid. In addition, program participants are referred to small business development centers for technical assistance with business recovery and continuity plans, financial projecting and planning, and disaster preparedness planning. More information and an application are also available at restore.la.gov under the Recovery Assistance tab.
The loan program is funded by the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.