July 18, 2012
BATON ROUGE, La. - The Louisiana Office of Community Development - Disaster Recovery Unit (OCD-DRU) is accepting new applications for the Project-Based Opportunity Program (PROP), which aims to address unmet business recovery needs and boost continued economic recovery and revitalization.
PROP provides direct low-interest loans ranging from $500,000 to $5 million at a minimum one percent annual interest rate to eligible businesses in the 20 parishes impacted by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The program already has approved 11 projects.
Approximately $5 million is currently available in PROP funding, which comes from Community Development Block Grant dollars provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for recovery from hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Eligible businesses include for-profit and non-profit companies, community development financial institutions or community-based economic development organizations.
Applications and guidelines for the program can be found on the PROP page of the OCD-DRU Website.
- To be considered for funding, projects must meet all of the following criteria:
- Establish a new business location or expand a current location in an eligible parish, with expansion defined as improvements to facilities, operations or personnel;
- Either create a minimum number of jobs per project, as determined by industry standards or eliminate slum and blight;
- Show minimum annual gross revenue of $250,000;
- Must have a private investment of at least 10 percent of total project costs; and
- Limit CDBG funding through the program to 75 percent or less of total project costs.
Additional consideration will be given to projects that: create opportunities for new small businesses, or for those at least 51 percent owned by a female or minority; preserve historic structures; provide an essential service to a recovering neighborhood; can demonstrate community support; create jobs above the program-required minimum for workers with lower incomes; or have a positive repayment history with OCD-DRU.
To be eligible, businesses must be located in at least one of the following parishes: Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Vermilion or Washington.
Questions from potential applicants can be directed to Debra Willis at OCD-DRU at 504-556-9793 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Disaster Recovery Unit within the Office of Community Development is dedicated to helping Louisiana's citizens recover from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. As the state's central point for hurricane recovery, the OCD-DRU manages the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history, working closely with local, state and federal partners to ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.