Hurricane Katrina Forest Recovery

As we work together to tackle the historic challenge that Hurricane Katrina has presented to the forestry communities of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, we hope that this blog will be a valuable resource and tool.

Tuesday, September 20

Governor Barbour Proposes Emergency Business Loans

Gov. Haley Barbour has proposed a small business emergency bridge loan program to provide temporary working capital for small businesses in Hurricane Katrina-affected counties. The short-term loan, modeled after a similar program in Florida, would bridge the gap between the time the storm hit and a businesses' receipt of other financial assistance.

The no-interest loans would range from $1,000-$25,000 under terms for periods of 90-180 days based on individual circumstances. Eligible businesses would have between two and 100 employees, and would have been in business at least one year prior to the hurricane. The loan must be used for items directly related to the physical impact of Katrina.

Barbour said he would ask the Mississippi Legislature to consider the small business loan proposal as part of a comprehensive program designed to help Mississippi recover when lawmakers meet for a special session September 27.

In conjunction with Barbour's proposal, the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) is establishing Business Assistance Centers in the affected areas to assist local economic development organizations and businesses. The centers will consist of representatives from MDA, U.S. Small Business Development Administration and various state and local government agencies.


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