Calcasieu officials say not all funds expected through Main Street Recovery grant program appear to be available

Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks at the Calcasieu Parish building on Friday, Sept. 25
Hurricane Laura recovery.
Hurricane Laura recovery.

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The governor did not speak publicly at the Calcasieu Briefing, but did address a closed-door meeting with local governmental, business and elected officials.

Local officials say the takeaway was not all good news for the Lake Area.

Lake Charles businesses are struggling to reopen

The Chamber Southwest and its partners are providing help through the business recovery center as announced by Alliance President George Swift.

“We have set up a business recovery center,” Swift said. “This is where people can come in if they need computer or internet access. And we have that. We have SBA counselors there, from the Small Business Development Center at McNeese.”

George Swifts speaks during a Sept. 25 briefing on Calcasieu's recovery from Hurricane Laura

Concerning Gov. Edwards' remarks, Swift said not all funds they local officials were counting in through the Main Street Recovery grant program appear to be available.

“We have information from the treasurer’s office that all the money, that if all the applications go through, that if 50 percent of the applications go through, then the money is gone,” Swift said. “So, that’s the first thing. We don’t want to encourage businesses to apply for that, even though they can, but we don’t want to encourage them to do so if there’s not a good likelihood they will get the money. We don’t need false promises and false hope right now, we need reality.”

Also, Swift says another round of the Federal Paycheck Protection Program is needed.

Gerry Stolar, from FEMA, also gave an update on temporary housing saying the process of contacting those who qualify is underway.

The Red Cross says more than 10,000 people are being housed in hotel rooms across the region. It’s hoped housing assistance will begin bringing them home.

Business people who need assistance filling out an SBA loan application can make an appointment at the Seed Center for help. The number is 433-3632.

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