Business Loan Grant Program for St. John Businesses affected by Hurricane Isaac

East Bank
River Region Chamber of Commerce
394 Belle Terre Blvd, LaPlace, LA
Open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
9am-4pm Tuesday and Thursday, 9am-7pm Wednesday

West Bank
Westbank Community Center
173 East 3rd Street, Edgard, LA
Open every other Tuesday
11am – 7pm (October 6th and December 1st)
11am – 4pm (October 20th , November 3rd & 17th)

Application intake period is from September 29 - December 3, 2015

Purpose

The purpose of St John the Baptist Parish’s (STJBP) Small Business Grant & Loan Program (SBGLP) is to facilitate recovery and to develop viable communities within STJBP by expanding economic opportunities, principally for persons of low-and moderate income. In consideration of National Objectives, the St. John the Baptist Parish Small Business Grant/Loan Program is intended on providing CDBG-Disaster Recovery financial assistance in the form of a grants and low interest loans to St John the Baptist small businesses that were in existence during Hurricane Isaac and directly suffered from the effects of the storm.

Please call 1-800-630-3791 to schedule an intake appointment and to submit your application.

Eligibility

Individual businesses (including for-profit businesses and earned income generators within non-profit organizations) are eligible to apply for funding to purchase moveable equipment, inventory and/or to provide working capital for identified expenses that could support operations for up to six months. 

 

Types of Assistance

Award amounts will range from $10,000 to $100,000 based on the availability of funds, on the applicants requests and their ability to propose a qualified use of funds based on program criteria.  Awards will be based on CDBG eligibility and the availability of program funding.  

The award amount is determined by: 

Unmet Need

Applicants will be required to describe their physical and fiscal losses from Hurricane Isaac.  The application will request evidence of whatever recovery measures have already been applied including insurance proceeds and/or SBA assistance. 

Unreimbursed Expenses

Businesses may document expenses that were caused by but not covered by insurance or assistance programs.  Unreimbursed expenses may include additional costs to clean-up and re-open and it may include wages paid to employees, and operating expenses incurred during the time that the business was closed.  While lost profit is not eligible, operating losses may be calculated into the unmet need/unreimbursed expense.

Additional Items/New Hires

With a goal of making businesses more resilient and more sustainable, business owners may propose new projects, new hires and/or   the purchase of new equipment that would make their business better able to survive the next disaster.

Information required in the application includes but is not limited to:

Documentation Requirements Criteria

 Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for Initial Phase assistance under this program, a business must meet the following criteria:

  1. Applicant must have been in business in St John Parish on or before July 1st, 2012  (Evidenced with either Utility Bill in Business Name and/or Occupational License)
  2. Applicant/Business must either still be in business in St John Parish or evidence an active Entity and demonstrate that these funds will allow them to return to business within the parish within 3 months of funding
  3. Recognizing that the applicant must meet the SBA’s definition of a Small Business (by using the NAICS code, annual receipts, and number of employees as provided on IRS form 941 to ensure the applicant meets the criteria in 13 CFR Part 121) and that the state may be more restrictive in this definition, applicant must currently have no more than 50 employees (w-2 and non-owner). (Evidenced with latest Form 941 at closing supplemented quarterly 941s for a period of one year.
  4. For awards $60,000 or more, applicant must agree to create a minimum of one new FTE employee (w-2 and non-owner).  If larger awards are authorized additional jobs would need to be created for every $60,000 increment.
  5. Minimum annual gross revenue of $50,000 in either of the three prior years (2012 may be prorated to demonstrate that pre-storm income annualized would have attained $50,000 level without storm)
  6. Awardees must meet one of the two following National Objectives by either   “Benefiting Low- to Moderate Income persons” (LMI Job Creation, LMI Job Retention of LMI area),  or by fitting within the justification and definition of “Urgent Need”.
  7. Applicants must not be debarred from receiving funding from the Federal Government.
  8. Prior to closing, businesses within the 100 year flood plain, will be required to obtain and maintain flood insurance for the life of the loan for the property and contents.  Proof of this insurance must be collected and kept on file.

Miscellaneous eligibility:

Minimum Underwriting Standards:

The Sub-Recipient will ensure that the applicant meets the Underwriting minimum standards including:

1.  The average individual Minimum Beacon Credit Score of all 20% (or >) owners must be 600.
2.  Applicant/Business must have a current debt service coverage of 1.1:1 including proposed loan. 
3.  All award applicants must meet the CDBG Underwriting Criteria of 24 CFR § 570.209;

SCPDC Staff shall determine eligibility and underwrite each application based on the above Minimum Underwriting Standards.  All applications that meet both eligibility and underwriting criteria shall be presented to SCPDC’s Revolving Loan Fund Administrative Board in a summarized format for their review and consideration. 

Eligible uses of proceeds include:

Ineligible uses of proceeds include:

  1. Acquisition of buildings and/or immovable property;
  2. The purchase of immovable equipment
  3. Construction including rehabilitation, renovation and property improvements;;
  4. Refinancing of State Bridge Loans;
  5. Refinancing of existing debt.
  6. Payment of any tax arrearages, governmental fines, or penalties.
  7. Political or religious activities.
  8. Buying out any stockholder or equity holder in a business.
  9. Buying out or reimbursing any family member.
  10. Purchase of instruments or investments for the sole purpose of a return on investment.
  11. Ineligible working capital expenses include travel, entertainment, research & development and donations
  12. All other activities prohibited in the CDBG regulations in Part 570.

  Closing Process and Additional Related Requirements