A message from Secretary Don Pierson to LED stakeholders about Hurricane Ida

Dear LED Stakeholders,

I wanted to reach out on behalf of the entire Louisiana Economic Development team to update you on state and federal business recovery efforts and to reassure you of our unwavering support in the immediate and longer-term aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Members of our team are in the process of reaching out directly to affected businesses to assess impact and assist with your recovery efforts. We also have established a Hurricane Ida business recovery resources page on our website, OpportunityLouisiana.com, that contains links to critical information about state and federal business recovery programs, as well as general information about hurricane recovery. Please bookmark the page, located here, which we will update with additional business recovery resources as they become available.

I also wanted to make sure you are aware that a critical piece of federal business disaster relief came online Tuesday (Aug. 31) with the activation of U.S. Small Business Administration virtual business recovery centers.

SBA customer service representatives are available to business owners and individuals now to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help complete the electronic loan application seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT. The virtual recovery center can be engaged by email at FOCWAssistance@sba.gov or by phone at (800) 659-2955.

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. For small businesses and most private nonprofits, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster regardless of any property damage. Interest rates can be as low as 2.855 percent for businesses and 2 percent for private nonprofit organizations.

For more information, go to the Small Business Administration disaster assistance page.

My heart aches for the tremendous stress on our people and our state. But I am proud of our resilience and confident of our ability to meet this challenge. Thank you for all you do, and please let me know how our team can help you move your businesses, your stakeholders and our state forward.

Don Pierson, Secretary, Louisiana Economic Development

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