River Region Chamber meets with federal recovery head

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 22, 2005

LAPLACE — The River Region Chamber of Commerce was part of a delegation from the Southeast Business Coalition that met recently with Donald Powell, the newly appointed Federal Recovery Coordinator, as well as with several members of his staff.

The meeting, which lasted over an hour, was held on Nov. 29 in Baton Rouge.

Representing the River Region Chamber was Penny Freeman of Preferred Companies.

Other organizations represented and belonging to the Southeast Business Coalition are: Jefferson Chamber, Jefferson Business Council, Jefferson Economic Development Corporation, New Orleans Business Council, The New Orleans Chamber, GNO, Inc., St. Bernard Chamber, St. Bernard Economic Development Council, New Orleans Downtown Development District, Slidell Area Chamber and the St. Tammany West Chamber.

While the coalition presented a formal agenda and packet of information, much of the meeting was informal and consisted of open and candid dialogue among the attendees.

Powell stated that he views the coalition as a valuable resource going forward and offered to meet again in the near future in the impacted area.

There, discussions will continue about levee and flood protection and the coalition will be given additional time and an opportunity to expand upon its message and agenda, which also includes Business Recovery Assistance, Infrastructure Repair and Rebuilding, Housing and Commercial Redevelopment, Federal Programs and Jobs Commitment, Flood Insurance Access and Stability and calls for quick and decisive action from local and state officials, Congress and the Administration, for passage and implementation of relief and recovery measures.

In October, approximately 30 members of the Southeast Louisiana Business Coalition also spent time in Washington to lobby Congress, the Administration and related federal agencies for post-Katrina recovery assistance.

Part of this effort included a recommendation that a per-

son of national prominence be named to coordinate the recovery and rebuilding efforts on Southeast Louisiana. It was shortly thereafter that Powell was named as the Federal Recovery Coordinator.

For more information on the River Region Chamber of Commerce, visit www.riverregionchamber.org or call 985-359-9777.