- Louisiana Association of Business and Industry Creates Small Business Disaster Relief Fund
- September 1, 2016
- Law Firm: Taylor Porter Brooks Phillips L.L.P. - Baton Rouge Office
The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) announced the creation of the Louisiana Small Business Disaster Relief Fund to support the thousands of small businesses impacted by this historic flooding event. The federal disaster declaration currently extends to 20 parishes, including Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermilion, Washington and West Feliciana.
LABI is the largest business advocacy group in the state, representing more than 2,500 business members of every size, in every sector and region.
A new analysis from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) estimates 110,000 homes were lost in nine parishes alone, affecting more than 280,000 people. In the Baton Rouge region, BRAC estimates more than 7,000 businesses employing more than 70,000 people are also located in areas identified as flood-affected. This represents roughly one in five businesses and workers in the Capital Region. The numbers of companies and employees affected by flooding will surely grow larger once the final impact across the entire disaster declaration area is tallied. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the current disaster declaration area contains over 50,000 businesses and more than 590,000 employees.
An independent committee of LABI members with technical, accounting and legal expertise is currently being formed to prioritize grants to affected businesses. One hundred percent of contributions will be awarded to Louisiana small businesses diligently trying to re-open and serve their community. Contributions to the Fund are tax deductible. This is the second time that LABI has created a Louisiana Small Business Disaster Relief Fund. In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, LABI awarded more than 200 grants totaling over $1.7 million that assisted small businesses in recovery.