Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Southeast Louisiana Small Business Recovery Conference Convenes on New Orleans


October 27, 2008


Kevin Williams

Christina Stephens
Louisiana Recovery Authority

THURSDAY: Southeast Louisiana Small Business Recovery Conference Convenes on New Orleans

Conference will provide critical information to small business owners, bankers and accountants about tax credit opportunities

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Small business owners, bankers and accountants are encouraged to attend the 2008 Southeast Louisiana Small Business Recovery Conference in New Orleans Thursday, October 30, 2008, to learn about tax credit programs to assist entrepreneurs and participate in networking opportunities.

Hosted by the FDIC, the Small Business Administration, 100 Black Men of Metro New Orleans, Rebuilding Our Communities, Inc., UEP Gulf Coast, Inc. and the Southeast Louisiana Alliance for Economic Inclusion (AEI), the conference aims to inform entrepreneurs across South Louisiana about opportunities to stabilize and grow their businesses.

Southeast Louisiana cannot recover from the disaster caused by hurricanes Gustav and Ike without a stable small business base to help return essential basic retail and services to our severely damaged communities.

WHAT: Southeast Louisiana Small Business Recovery Conference
WHEN: Thursday, October 30, 2008, from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
WHERE: UNO - Lindy Boggs Conference Center, 2045 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans, La. 70148
For directions or more information, call 504-309-2073 ext. 107 or visit the Web site at www.aeiconference.org

"The conference is focused towards providing valuable resource assistance information to small businesses in the entire southeast Louisiana region ranging from Houma-Terrebonne to Baton Rouge Metro to Hammond/Tangipahoa and the New Orleans Metro/St. Tammany Parish region," said Kevin Williams, FDIC Community Affairs Specialist for Louisiana. "Establishing cohesive small business relationships between entrepreneurs, bankers, and credit unions involved in small business lending through the use of private-public financing partnerships is another key focus area of the conference."

"Small business owners form the base of Louisiana's successful recovery from hurricanes Katrina and Rita," said Paul Rainwater, executive director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. "Conference attendees will have access to a wealth of information regarding municipal, state and federal government agencies, including the availability of $10 billion in federal tax incentives."

Business attire is requested. Attendees are encouraged to bring business cards, as this will be an excellent networking opportunity for businesses of all capacities. Continental breakfast and plated lunch will be served. Registration is required, and will take place during the first hour of the conference. Registration forms also can be submitted online at www.aeiconference.org. Registration is $35 in advance and $45 at the door.

General Douglas O'Dell, the Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding, will be the keynote breakfast speaker and Mr. Lee Bowman, National Community Affairs Officer for the FDIC, will deliver the luncheon keynote address. Click here for a copy of the conference agenda.

"Local and regional experts will be presenting information on topics such as: Capital Access, Marketing with Technology, Special Non-bank Financing Programs, Doing Business with the Film Industry, Government and Major Corporations, Go Zone Tax Incentives, State Hurricane Assistance Initiatives and other useful information for entrepreneurs, their accountants and bankers," according to conference co-host, Reuben DeTiege of Good Work Network.

Southeast LA AEI will also host a networking reception following the conference with an expo of approximately 40 small business resource providers and lenders in the region.

This event is sponsored by 100 Black Men of Metro New Orleans, Inc., First NBC Bank, Good Work Network, Kauffman Foundation, Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA), Regions Bank, Regional Loan Corporation, Rebuilding Our Communities, Inc., and Whitney National Bank, Capital One, Liberty Bank and South Louisiana Bank.

For more information about the event, or to schedule a media interview with Reuben DeTiege of Good Work Network or Kevin Williams of the FDIC, please call 504-309-2073 ext. 103 or 107, or email Reuben at reuben@goodworknetwork.org, or visit goodworknetwork.org.

The Southeast LA Alliance for Economic Inclusion (AEI) was organized in October 2007 by the FDIC to focus on community issues resulting from Hurricane Katrina, The Southeast LA AEI represents a coalition of the region's financial institutions, small business development groups, affordable housing nonprofits, economic development officials, community-based organizations and federal bank regulatory officials. Assisting in the creation, expansion, and recovery of small businesses is one of several focus areas of the AEI.

Created in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita in 2005, the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the coordinating and planning body leading the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history. The central point for hurricane recovery in Louisiana, the LRA works closely with the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and partners with state and federal agencies to oversee more than $20 billion worth of programs, speed the pace of rebuilding, remove hurdles and red tape and ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before. For more information about the LRA and its 17-member board, visit lra.louisiana.gov.


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