Disaster Preparedness • Economic Recovery • Resilience

Small Business Financing for Economic Recovery Workshop Download

Small businesses are the cornerstone of many local economies.  We have seen within recent years that both natural and man-made disasters can seriously impact local, regional and national economies.  Following a disaster, one of the biggest demands of small businesses is financial support for rebuilding, business continuation and growth. This workshop focused on financing for small businesses after a disaster. This included the technical aspects on setting up a revolving loan fund. Strategies were also presented on using CDBG-DR grants to support small businesses for economic recovery, including how to use CDBG-DR grants to create a business loan program. Case studies from Hurricane Ike, Philadelphia, and New Orleans were presented.

Click below to download each of the speakers presentations.

Caren Franzini – Establishing a Revolving Loan Fund

Sam Rhoads – Case Study: Revolving Loan Fund

Sue Southon and Marsha Tonkovich – Using Community Development Block Grant, Disaster Recovery Grants

Jessica Hill – Case Study: Community Development Block Grant, Disaster Recovery Grants

Scott Annis and Jennifer Todd – Presentation on Findings of Needs Assessment Scan of FY2011 Disasters


Robin A. BarnesRobin Barnes headshot
Executive Vice President & COO
Greater New Orleans, Inc.

As the number two executive at GNO, Inc., the regional economic development organization for southeast Louisiana, Barnes oversees several major initiatives including the development of the region’s new Emerging Environmental industry sector, the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, the Coalition for Coastal Resilience & Economy, the National Economic Protection and Resilience Organization, and other innovative projects designed to create and protect jobs in the region. In the spring and summer of 2013, Barnes served as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Shaun Donovan, and President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force.

Barnes served as Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Louisiana at Seedco Financial, now called TruFund Financial Services, a national nonprofit community development financial institution. In 2006, Barnes relocated from New York City to New Orleans to open Seedco Financial’s Louisiana field office and implement the organization’s emergency business and economic recovery response to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike. At Seedco Financial, Barnes deployed federal funds totaling $30 million for emergency grants and loans to a total of 1,000 small businesses in greater New Orleans. She also opened the Seedco Financial Southeast Louisiana Fisheries Assistance Center in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, the only business assistance center for commercial fisheries.

Barnes co-chairs the Sustainable Industries subcommittee of ProsperityNOLA: A Plan to Drive Economic Growth for 2018 for the City of New Orleans; and is a member of the marketumbrella.org Community Advisory Board and the NOLA Wise Advisory Board.



Caren FranziniCaren Franzini-picture
Franzini Consulting, LLC

Caren Franzini is President of Franzini Consulting, LLC. The firm provides assistance to coordinate, analyze and assess the feasibility of business and real estate projects; identifies local, state and federal incentives to fill funding gaps; and assists economic development organizations with their review of programs and developments. She served as Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) from January 1994 until October 2012.  Among its range of economic development responsibilities, the EDA finances small and mid-sized businesses and supports entrepreneurial development by providing access to training and mentoring programs. Annually, the EDA provides between $600-$800 million in financial assistance throughout New Jersey to leverage additional private sector investment and the retention and growth of jobs.

Ms. Franzini served as Chair of the state’s Urban Enterprise Zone Authority, Vice Chair of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority, and President of the Corporation for Business Assistance in New Jersey.  She also was a member of the Board of Directors and is the past president of the National Council of Development Finance Agencies.

Ms. Franzini has been recognized with numerous awards for her contributions to business growth and economic development in the state including the New Jersey Chapter of National Association of Industrial and Office Properties’ Industry Service Award and the Wharton Club of New York’s Joseph Wharton Award for Social Impact.

Ms. Franzini currently serves on the Board of Directors of NJM Insurance Group, LeadNJ, New Jersey Community Development Corporation and the NJ Alliance for Action.


Jessica Hill
Vice President of Economic Development
Southeast Texas Economic Development Foundation

Jessica Hill is the Vice President of Economic Development for the Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce and Southeast Texas Economic Development Foundation in Beaumont, TX.  She manages the U.S. Small Business Administration 504 loan program and acts as regional liaison for business development through the Regional Economic Development Initiative. Her responsibilities include lead generation, proposal response, demographic analysis and marketing to name a few. Additionally, Jessica is acting Director of the Southeast Texas Young Professionals Organization working to assist in the recruitment and retention of young professionals through career development and networking opportunities.

She is a graduate of Texas A&M University where she received her degree in Kinesiology with a specialization in Sport Management, as well as Lamar University with a Masters of Business Administration in Service Marketing and Management. Jessica is also a graduate of the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute, and is preparing to test for certification. Most recently, she was chosen one of Southeast Texas’ best and brightest young professionals under the age of 40.

She actively participates in the Board of Directors for the Southeast Texas A&M Foundation, Spindletop Rotary Club, Leadership Beaumont Advisory Council, Leadership Beaumont Board of Directors and Agrilife Extension Leadership Advisory Board. She is a mother to one year old Wyatt, and wife to husband Zeke.


Sue SouthonSue Southon
Senior Technical Specialist
ICF International

Sue Southon has been a Senior Technical Specialist with ICF International since August 2012.  She has extensive experience as a development professional, trainer, and strategic planner.

In 1992 she founded Strategic Planning Services to provide strategic planning, site consultation, organizational development, project management, and grant writing assistance to industry, government, non-profits, and educational institutions.

Sue served on the Professional Development Committee that created the International Economic Development Council’s (IEDC) professional certification program.  She assisted in the development of the curriculum for the Marketing & Business Attraction and the Strategic Planning modules and served as an instructor for both courses.  Sue worked with the IDEC advisory services program on regional economic development, state business attraction, and strategic planning presentations. Sue has also trained on behalf of IEDC for the Economic Development Institute, and the National Association of Workforce Boards. Southon was a regular volunteer for the International Economic Development Council Gulf Coast Recovery Program and served on an IEDC advisory panel for Cedar Rapids, Iowa’s business disaster recovery planning.  She also staffed ULI’s Katrina Recovery Panel, and served on the ULI Advisory Services Panel for Galveston’s Community and Economic Development Recovery.

From 2010 to 2012, Southon served as a member of FEMA’s Subject Matter Experts Long Term Disaster Recovery Cadre, receiving appointment as NDRS Community Recovery Assistance Crew Leader in July 2012. Due to her current employment, Sue is not currently an active NDRS team member.


Marsha Tonkovich
Senior Vice President
ICF International


Sam Rhoads
Executive Vice President
Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation

Sam is Executive Vice President for the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), Philadelphia’s city-wide economic development corporation, where he has worked since 1995.  In this capacity, PIDC’s real estate and financing functions report to Sam, which include the Navy Yard, the Real Estate Group, and the Finance Group.

Prior to joining PIDC, Sam worked at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to provide low cost financing for development of public school and local municipal facilities throughout New Jersey, and at the Shared Housing Resource Center in Philadelphia where he supported community groups in the delivery of affordable shared housing alternatives to low-income elderly in Philadelphia.

Sam volunteers on several Boards and committees, including the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation, Germantown Friends School committee, Awbury Arboretum, the Philadelphia Urban Finance Corporation, The Wyck House, and The Wistar Institute.

Sam has a BA from Stanford University and a Masters in Public Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School.



Scott Annis
Economic Development Associate
International Economic Development Council

Scott Annis works on a variety of research and technical assistance projects as an Economic Development Associate in the Knowledge Management and Development (KMD) department at IEDC. He has broad background in economic development and local and regional planning. Prior to joining IEDC, Scott worked at regional council of governments in Southern and East Central Iowa. This prior work and his background cover a variety of planning and economic development areas including post-disaster economic recovery, smart growth planning, brownfield redevelopment, small business and entrepreneurship development, local foods, sustainability, and bicycle & pedestrian planning.

Scott earned has a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Iowa. He also holds a Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance with a minor in International Studies from the University of Iowa.


Jennifer Todd
Economic Development Associate
International Economic Development Council

Jennifer Todd is a Research Associate in the Knowledge Management and Development (KMD) department at IEDC. She has broad experience in economic development as well as local and regional planning and currently works on a variety of research and technical assistance projects in economic development. Prior to joining IEDC, Jennifer worked as a Fellow and Program Analyst for the D.C. Government. She also has prior experience working for a community development corporation in Austin, TX. She has successfully developed and carried out projects in a variety of planning and economic development areas including strategic planning, downtown revitalization and design, marketing, public outreach and engagement, entrepreneurship and small business development, sustainability, and transportation planning.

Jennifer has a Masters in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin. She also holds a Bachelors in Business Administration and a Bachelors in History from the University of Georgia in Athens, GA.