SCORE Disaster Recovery Grants Help Gulf Coast Chapters Rebuild and Serve Local Entrepreneurs

Washington, D.C.—SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business” awards two $3,000 grants to Gulfport SCORE in Biloxi, Miss. and Golden Triangle SCORE in Beaumont, Texas. The funds will help buy new equipment for the chapters, which suffered damage as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

This money was raised last fall from SCORE volunteers and chapters nationwide. SCORE previously sent $10,000 to New Orleans SCORE to help restore chapter operations and increase awareness of SCORE services in southern Louisiana.

The grants build on SCORE’s actions to support Gulf Coast business owners after the hurricanes last fall. Volunteers at SCORE chapters in that region, some of whom lost homes or suffered hurricane damage themselves, have increased their efforts to help.

Atlanta SCORE volunteers assisted more than 200 evacuees at four rescue centers that were set up shortly after Hurricane Katrina. SCORE had 17 volunteers working at these centers─some of them working six and seven days a week providing counseling.

Baton Rouge SCORE volunteers provided counseling at SBA disaster recovery centers. The chapter formed a Hurricane Katrina Task Force to react to the local community’s needs. SCORE volunteers were trained by the Louisiana State University Small Business Development Center on disaster loan programs.

New Orleans SCORE continues to provide services on a limited basis. Many of the New Orleans volunteers are working out of Baton Rouge. Both chapters have run local newspaper ads letting small business owners know that counseling is available.

Gulf Coast SCORE in Biloxi, MS, suffered a total loss of their office. The chapter is now open in a temporary location and assisting clients two to three days a week. Chapter Chair David Philo says, “I am very proud of our volunteers, who continue to do an exceptional job even under very trying circumstances.”

Since 1964, SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business” has assisted more than 7 million aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners through counseling and business workshops. More than 10,500 volunteer business counselors in 389 chapters serve their communities through entrepreneur education dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses.

For more information about starting or operating a small business, call 1-800/634-0245 for the SCORE chapter nearest you. Or, visit SCORE on the Web at www.score.org.