The Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce is serving as one of five Business Recovery Centers to provide services to businesses affected by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that began on March 8.

The BRCs are operated by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Louisiana Department of Economic Development and Louisiana Small Business Development Centers. The other centers are located in Bossier, Ouachita, St. Tammany and Washington parishes.

“Offering the Chamber office as a resource provides a great opportunity for us to support our partners with the SBA, LED and LSBDC,” Chamber President and CEO Melissa Bordelon said.

LSBDC consultants at the centers 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 a review of all options to ensure each business makes decisions that are appropriate for its situation.

“Due to the severe property damage and economic loss these storms and floods inflicted on businesses in Louisiana, we want to provide every available service to help get them back on their feet,” said SBA’s Louisiana District Director Michael Ricks.

SBA representatives will meet with each business owner to explain how an SBA disaster loan can help finance their recovery. 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 costs that are not fully covered by insurance or other recoveries.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small business 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 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 disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. For more information or to download applications, visit www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, Texas, 76155.