Chamber pivots to Ida recovery

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 20, 2021

We were all dealing with a lot of changes due to the COVID pandemic. Then, Hurricane Ida threw us for a loop, and we are now dealing with a new set of challenges. At the Chamber, our normal routine has significantly changed and like most of you, we are readdressing our needs on how to best finish this year and assessing new goals for 2022.


We have pivoted our resources to recovery and rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Ida. We were happy to sponsor Operation BBQ and administer 500 meals to the residents in St. John Parish. In both St. John and St. James parishes, the Chamber partnered with Operation Restoration and Sylvia Taylor and Associates to provide 400-plus meals, gas cards, water, cleaning supplies and more to residents in need. Later this month, we will hold a similar event in St. Charles Parish. In addition to these efforts, your Chamber’s office is currently serving as a business recovery center for the River Parishes where Small Business Adminstration (SBA) representatives are available weekly from Monday – Wednesday, from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. to assist in your business needs. No appointments are needed to utilize this service. The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is also present for anyone needing additional post-disaster business counseling. Furthermore, a new funding option became available last week from the South-Central Planning and Development Commission. You can find this and all other Hurricane Ida resources on our website at You can also use the same link to sign up for our weekly emails that will update you on all current information.


We hope members have found our weekly emails to be beneficial. They are jam packed with resources for funding and assistance for all three parishes. One event our email featured is a webinar we are hosting with SBA this Friday, October 15, at 10 a.m. Members will be sent a link to participate in the virtual seminar. Kudos to our parish leaders for their tireless work and commitment to get our communities back up and running. Extra kudos to our Entergy team (especially the linemen) for their dedication to restoring power to us all.


Due to Ida, we will be postponing both our Women’s Empowerment Event as well as Leadership River Region. We understand that most of us need to focus on ensuring our families have necessities and our homes are rebuilt. Therefore, we will continue to focus on member needs amid the post recovery process.


We are grateful to each of you for your continued support and commitment to your local Chamber. Please continue to take advantage of job postings and hot deals. The Chamber’s website is a great marketing tool to help expand your reach. All you need to access your benefits is your member login. If you don’t remember your login, you can call the Chamber at 985-359-9777 or email


We look forward to working with you in the recovery and rebuild process.



Aspen Murphy is the 2020 and 2021 Chairwoman for the River Region Chamber of Commerce, which can be reached at 985-359-9777.