Monday, August 5, 2019
St. John the Baptist Parish – Applications are available for small businesses and non-profits to access funds through the parish’s Placed-Based Investment Loan Program. The program offers loans with 0% interest for targeted redevelopment projects that create a positive visual impact with hopes of accelerating economic development activity. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $50,000, with up to 40% loan forgiveness.
Eligible projects include replacement of commercial signs; parking lot reductions or repavement with water management features; and façade improvements to commercial historic structures. Façade improvements are only eligible in the Historic Districts of LaPlace, Reserve, Garyville and River Road (Edgard, Lucy, and Wallace). Sign replacements and parking reductions/repavement are targeted along the Major Corridor Overlay District but are also eligible in historic districts. The Major Corridor Overlay District includes the following commercial corridors: Airline Hwy (U.S. 61), Main St (U.S. 51), Belle Terre Blvd (LA 8188) and Woodland Drive.
Participating borrowers will access forgivable loans meant to support improvements that will enhance curb appeal through new signage, façade upgrades, and improved drainage. The cumulative impact of these activities should resonate with customers and clients, increasing foot traffic for businesses and encouraging additional investment in the targeted areas.
Parish President Natalie Robottom aims to encourage local economic development and resilience by supporting small businesses and property owners, stimulate private investment around key target corridors, and empower local businesses with resources to grow in accordance with the goals of the Parish’s Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code.
Implementation of the Loan Program is led by St. John the Baptist Planning and Zoning Department with support from various Parish departments. The South Central Planning and Development Commission (SCPDC) will assist the Parish in underwriting borrowers and administering the loan program. GCR, Inc. will handle all marketing and outreach.
A public information session is scheduled for Wednesday, August 7, 2019, at the Ronald Borne, Sr. Memorial Library in Edgard. The meeting will begin with a presentation at 5:30 pm, followed by an Open House until 7 pm.
For general questions about the program, please contact SCPDC by phone at 1-800-630-3791 or by email: email@example.com. For project-specific questions, contact St. John Planning and Zoning Department by phone at 985-651-5565. Should additional assistance be required, representatives of the Planning and Zoning Department will be available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 am until 3:30 pm at the St. John Parish Government Complex located at 1811 W. Airline Hwy. Interested applicants can also learn more about the program by visiting the Parish website at www.sjbparish.com.