Seedco Financial has served a vital role in lending to small business owners in the wake of hurricane and oil spill disasters. Our staff acted quickly to access the experiences and needs of borrowers. We were then able to offer tailored products and services that arrived prior to government aid.
Here are some ways in which we have responded and customized our services to meet individual needs.
After the Hurricanes
In April 2006, Seedco Financial opened an office at Xavier University of Louisiana to assist businesses in New Orleans and the surrounding parishes to recover from the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
With local partners, we provided outreach and technical assistance to complement our financial assistance. For example, the office quickly assembled a resource guide containing a comprehensive listing of services; this was distributed to borrowers, businesses, and technical assistance providers.
During the last two years, we refined our strategy to not only focus on stabilizing disaster-impacted businesses, but also on helping them grow. With signs of devastation still evident throughout much of the region, businesses in industries such as construction, retail, restaurants, service, green, and many others are now seeing opportunities to fill voids that still exist within neighborhoods. We are helping these businesses expand and bring needed goods and services to communities throughout the region.
Following the Oil Spill
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill poured roughly 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for three months beginning in April 2010. It temporarily shut down more than a third of the total Gulf to fishing and caused immense hardship to fishermen and workers in processing and related industries.
Since the oil spill, Seedco Financial has received over 1,000 visits to the Southeast Louisiana Fisheries Assistance Center. We provide the following services:
- We help small businesses package, analyze, and calculate claims to be submitted to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. In addition, Seedco Financial offers an outreach program with in-office information sessions about the claims process.
- We produce the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Resource Guide, a regularly updated guide of organizations and services that provide support to businesses and individuals affected by the oil spill.
- We provide housing counseling through our partnership with A Shared Initiative, offering foreclosure prevention to our fishermen.
- Through partners such as the LSBDC, Seedco Financial is able to provide translation services to large limited English speaking Vietnamese-American population in the region.
Contact us at Louisiana@Seedco.org or call us toll-free at (504) 392-2454 for more information about our Louisiana Disaster Recovery program.