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Louisiana Flooding: 7,000 Small Businesses Impacted

The fallout from the Louisiana floods continues. On the commerce front, the flooding has impacted roughly 7,300 small businesses in the area, according to an expert who assisted the earlier Hurricane Katrina cleanup effort.

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore (Ret.) told Fox News on August 22:

“This is a real tragedy that has happened here in this flood because it’s taken out so many of our local businesses – about 7,300 businesses in the flood zone we estimate, are now closed. People are not going to go to work there today because they have nothing to sell and they can’t do business and about 60% of our people here work in small businesses so it has a cascading effect.”

Days after the flood waters arrived, many local businesses discovered that they couldn’t get back to work because staff members were focused on more pressing family and community priorities. Still, there has been progress on a range of fronts.

Louisiana Floods: Business Recovery Services

Some MSPs have restored customer data in the cloud — essentially activating virtualized networks to replace on-premises infrastructure destroyed or damaged by water. Moreover, six small business recovery centers are now open. The centers are designed to help entrepreneurs and business owners with various insurance and clean-up considerations.

Also, several organizations have launched the Louisiana Small Business Rebirth Fund — which allows local small businesses to apply for “microgrants” of less than $10,000 each. The idea is to provide small business owners with cash — no strings attached — that they can spend on whatever services or equipment they require to resume business, according to Business Report.

The floods left 13 people dead and damaged 60,000 homes. Cost estimates for the cleanup are all over the map. The American Red Cross estimates the cleanup at $30 million, but that figure is likely limited to the humanitarian effort and doesn’t likely include infrastructure fixes, home repairs, insurance claims and more.

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