Get the Latest on Disaster Relief
We have created this landing page to be a guide of all of the resources and current Hurricane Laura information that we are receiving from various organizations and officials. Visit NatchitochesChamber.com/News for the latest hurricane news releases.
FEMA DISASTER ASSISTANCE
Natchitoches Parish has been added to the disaster declaration. See below for information on how to apply for aid. Keep up to date with the latest FEMA information for our area at https://hurricanelaura.la.gov/.
Consumer Tips for Natural Disaster Victims from the Attorney General's
Click HERE to read the Attorney General's Consumer Tips. You can contact the Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-351-4889.
Small Business Administration Low-Interest Disaster Loans for Natchitoches Parish
Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to Louisiana businesses and residents as a result of President Trump’s major disaster declaration.
SBA) is offering low-interest disaster loans to non-farm businesses of all sizes, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters in the parishes of Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Grant, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Sabine, Vermilion, Vernon and Winn who suffered losses caused by Hurricane Laura that occurred August 22 through August 27, 2020. Types of loans available:
Individuals and Families:
- Homeowners: up to $200,000 to repair or replace real estate damage and up to $40,000 to replace personal property.
- Renters: up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property.
- Property Damage: up to $2,000,000 to repair or replace real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other assets that were damaged or destroyed (available to businesses of any size and private, non-profit organizations).
- Economic Injury: only for small businesses and most private non-profit organizations suffering adverse financial impacts of the disaster (with or without property loss), up to $2,000,000 for working capital to help pay obligations until normal operations resume.
For additional assistance, SBA has established a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center that is open Mondays – Sundays, 8 am to 8 pm EDT. You can contact an SBA customer service representative via email at FOCWAssistance@sba.gov or by phone at 800-659-2955. SBA will answer specific questions about how a disaster loan may help each survivor recover from the disaster damage and will provide one-on-one assistance in completing applications for these loans. You can apply online at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov.
Click HERE to view the SBA Fact Sheet for Disaster Loans.
Current Road Condition Information from DOTD
With Hurricane Laura impacting roadways across the state, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has updated road condition information posted online at their 511LA website. Motorists can see DOTD advisories, closures and even live traffic cameras along their route. The webpage also has additional information and advisories available for commercial trucks as well. To visit the 511LA website, click HERE.
To download the Louisiana 511 app for your mobile device, click HERE.
Information on Hurricane Recovery Tax Exclusions
A Louisiana income tax exclusion is in effect for out-of-state businesses and their employees who perform disaster-related work on critical infrastructure, which is defined as property or equipment used for:
- Communications networks and cable or communications transmission;
- Electric generation, transmission and distribution;
- Natural gas and natural gas liquids gathering, processing and storage, along with transmission and distribution systems;
- Water pipelines and support facilities; and
- Equipment and property serving multiple persons, including buildings, offices, structures, lines, poles, and pipes.
The gross income of out-of-state employees performing this work is excluded from income taxation and withholding requirements that would normally apply for nonresident individuals. The business income generated from the work is excluded from state taxation, as well. Finally, the nonresident business is also exempt from having to pay state or local taxes or fees related to the performance of the work. This exclusion will be in effect through November 19, and is authorized by R.S. 47:53.5.
The Louisiana Department of Revenue is requiring resident businesses that request a nonresident business to perform disaster or emergency-related work to provide written notice on their official letterhead to the secretary of the Department (See Revenue Information Bulletin No. 20-019). This written notice must stipulate the following:
- Name, phone number, and email address of the person who will serve as point of contact for the resident business requiring critical infrastructure services from the out-of-state business;
- Name, address and federal tax ID number of the out-of-state business performing the work;
- Date the request was made to the nonresident business to perform such work;
- Date and number of the state disaster or emergency declaration (Proclamation 108 JBE 2020); and
- A general description of the work requested.
The written notice must be signed by an authorized officer, owner, or other official of the resident business. The written notice must be transmitted, as an attachment via email, to the Department of Revenue at Act358.Notices@la.gov.
Hurricane Recovery Tips from the Louisiana Department of Health
As individuals return to impacted areas and begin cleanup efforts, the Louisiana Department of Health has assembled safety information and guidance. LDH's tips include how to handle snake bites, vaccines, floodwaters, mold, existing health hazards such as heart conditions and recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic. To access LDH's storm recovery health hub, click HERE.
Oil and Gas Industry Updates from the U.S. Department of Energy
With Hurricane Laura causing massive disruptions to Louisiana's oil and gas industry, the U.S. Department of Energy is currently issuing daily public reports on the situation in the coastal parishes. The reports include the latest information on utilities, status of ports, as well as updates on offshore production and pipelines. Click HERE to read the DOE situation reports.
Employer Concerns After Hurricane Laura
Hurricane Laura was historic, and it was catastrophic for much of Louisiana. Indeed, few parishes in our state escaped the fury of this storm completely unscathed. Laura maintained hurricane strength well inland, leaving significant destruction in its wake.
Now that this powerful storm has moved on, impacted Louisiana employers should be cognizant of state and federal employment laws that may affect them. Some businesses will be unable to open or operate due to damage caused to their facilities by wind, rain and/or flooding. Others may have difficulty getting their employees back to work because they are dealing with their own personal storm issues. Whatever the circumstances, it is important for employers to understand their legal rights and obligations in these cases. Read more HERE.
Hurricane Recovery Resources from the U.S. Chamber
To help businesses impacted by Hurricane Laura and other natural disasters, LABI's national partners at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have assembled tools, information, and resources to help guide companies through the recovery process.
For expert guidance and answers to pressing questions, business owners can reach out to the U.S. Chamber's Disaster Help Desk for Business by calling (888) 692-4943 or clicking HERE.
The U.S. Chamber has also compiled a Small Business Recovery Guide which contains key information and tips about things such as finances and insurance, disaster assistance, cleanup, and employee support. Click HERE to access the guide.
For more business disaster assistance information from the U.S. Chamber, click HERE.
Recovery Information from the Louisiana Restaurant Association
The Louisiana Restaurant Association has assembled hurricane recovery resources to help guide impacted restaurants and similar establishments as they work to reopen. The LRA's guidance includes industry specific information about food safety and cleanup, as well as materials on assessing damaged property and debris cleanup. To access the full LRA hurricane resources, click HERE.
Power Outages and Restoration
With households and business across Northwest Louisiana without electricity, SWEPCO crews have been hard at work over the past few days to restore power. SWEPCO customers can find storm updates by clicking HERE, and can check the status of power restoration in their area via the SWEPCO outage map. To get more information about power restoration times or to sign up for SWEPCO outage alerts, click HERE.
CLECO crews have been hard at work restoring electricity to customers across the state. Click HERE for the latest storm updates from CLECO.To see power outages and restoration across your area, see CLECO's outage map. In addition, the latest estimated power restoration times can be accessed by texting STAT to 25326.
With customers across Louisiana out of power, Entergy crews have been working around the clock to restore electricity. To get the latest storm updates from Entergy, click HERE.Customers can also check Entergy's outage map to see the status in their area. You can also find additional information by clicking HERE to opt in for Entergy text alerts or download the Entergy app for your mobile device.