BATON ROUGE, La. — The U.S. Small Business Administration, Louisiana Economic Development and Louisiana Small Business Development Centers today announced the opening of the Walker Business Recovery Center to provide a wide range of services to businesses impacted by the severe storms and flooding that began last week.
The center is located at the Southeastern Louisiana University Literacy and Technology Center, Room 101, 9261 Florida Blvd. in Walker. It will be open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., beginning Thursday.
“Due to the severe property damage and economic losses these storms and floods inflicted on businesses in Louisiana, we want to provide every available service to help get them back on their feet,” SBA’s Louisiana District Director Michael Ricks said. “The center will provide a one-stop location for businesses to access a variety of specialized help. Specialists from SBA and LSBDC will be available to meet individually with each business owner.”
No appointment is necessary. All services are provided free of charge.
SBA representatives will meet with each business owner to explain how an SBA disaster loan can help finance their recovery. “They will answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each business owner complete their application” Ricks said.
According to LSBDC State Director Rande Kessler, 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. 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.
“They will also provide program information, answer questions and help businesses apply for this much needed financial help,” Kessler continued.
LED Secretary Don Pierson, Ricks and Kessler want to ensure impacted businesses secure the financial assistance they need to resume normal operations.
“LED spearheaded this partnership with SBA and our LSBDCs,” Pierson said. “This highly trained and experienced team of consultants will be available to provide business consulting services designed to help these business owners re-establish their operations and plan for their future.”
LED is providing a complete resource guide for flood assistance at OpportunityLouisiana.com
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 emailing 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.