CHALMETTE — The St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation donated $10,000 to businesses in Arabi that were affected by the tornado that left a trail of destruction on March 22. With the help and collaboration of community leaders, SBEDF was able to secure a grant from the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) to help these businesses in the aftermath of the storm.
“It was clear that we had a duty to fulfill in helping connect businesses and community members to necessary resources in the hours following the devastating event,” said SBEDF Chief Executive Officer Meaghan McCormack. “St. Bernard Parish is undoubtedly a resilient community and its members came together without hesitation to help their neighbors in Arabi pick up the pieces.”
Many businesses that sustained damages due to the tornado have been able to start the rebuilding process, although the road to recovery is not an easy one. In some instances, entire buildings were demolished leaving business owners like Kirk Myers of Harrington & Myers no choice but to start over from ground zero. “We really appreciate the support from SBEDF,” said Myers. “It has been difficult since the tornado, but the support from St. Bernard officials and residents has been amazing. We will use the money in our ongoing rebuilding of our law office. Although our office was completely destroyed by the tornado, we think the new office will be even better than the last one!”
Each of the following businesses received $1,000 each toward their rebuilding efforts.
- Andre Neff & Associates
- Arabi Food Store
- Bayou Barbell
- Breathing Waters
- Discount Food Mart
- Harrington & Myers
- Nice Plants, Good Pots
- Old Arabi Marketplace
- The Gathering
- The Kitchen Table Cafe
There is still a long road ahead, but the hope of SBEDF is that the additional boost will help to alleviate and offset some of the losses experienced as a result of the storm.
“Receiving support from SBEDF is critical in helping us financially recover from the tornado,” said Donna Cavato, owner of the Kitchen Table Café. “Funds will be used to help cover significant food and revenue losses, and replacement of equipment.”
St. Bernard Parish officials are still working with several organizations to provide assistance to both businesses and residents affected by the tornado. Visit https://www.sbpg.net/353/Tornado-Response-Information to learn more.