JEDCO Reaching Out to Gretna Businesses to Offer Recovery Resources

Winter Weather Louisiana
A Winn-Dixie facade has fallen down due to a tornado in Gretna, La., in Jefferson Parish neighboring New Orleans, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. No one was injured at the store. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

AVONDALE, La. — The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission team has spent the day calling business owners affected by yesterday’s tornado to offer temporary office space, preliminary loan information and other resources. 

JEDCO Executive Director Jerry Bologna said they have limited the outreach to phone calls to give emergency responders and officials time to stabilize areas that were in the path of a destructive storm that is said to have damaged approximately 200 homes and businesses in Gretna alone before touching down in Algiers, then jumping the river and hitting Arabi for the second time this year.

“We’ve been working with the parish officials to try and catalog the businesses that have known damage so that we can respond to them more quickly,” said Bologna. “So we’ve been proactively reaching out to those companies as we hear of them.”

In Gretna, it seems, most of the damage occurred in residential areas, but some businesses were affected as well. Bologna said he wants to contact those business owners as quickly as possible to offer support. Ultimately, it appears that although some areas suffered extensive damage, the city and parish were fortunate to avoid a worse tragedy.

“First and foremost, our thoughts are with those who have lost their lives,” said Bologna. “I think we’re extremely blessed that, despite the severity of the tornado, we escaped without loss of life in Jefferson. And I think that’s certainly a credit to our weather forecasters and the school system, which made the tough decision to shut down early. I think the fact that people heeded that call helped us avert the loss of life. And, as it relates to the business community, you know, everything can be replaced. And that’s where we stand ready to assist on the material side of getting these businesses back up and operating.

“It’s certainly touched a lot of people in the community, and we’re going to help the community recover. That’s what we’re here to do.”

More details from the JEDCO communications office:

JEDCO will offer free transitional office space with power, phones, and internet to displaced Jefferson Parish businesses at the JEDCO headquarters in Churchill Technology and Business Park on Monday, Dec. 19 for as long as the organization is able to do so. Reservations are made on a first-come-first served basis. Offices are available between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Interested businesses must call in advance to reserve space. JEDCO is not accepting walk-ups at this time. Contact Scott Rojas, JEDCO Director of Facilities and Information Technology, at (504) 875-3916 or email him at srojas@jedco.org to reserve space.

If a disaster area is declared, then SBA Disaster Loans may be applied for here: https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/. Business owners may check the website for updates by clicking on “Check Disaster Declarations.” Additionally, the JEDCO Finance Team can provide access to Small Business Loans to aid in storm recovery. Contact loans@JEDCO.org for more information.

If your business has been impacted by the tornadoes, please contact JEDCO at (504) 875-3916 or email info@jedco.org.

Categories: Retail, Today’s Business News