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Storm Disasters Create Unique Chamber Connection

New Orleans business group aims to repay local commerce group’s kindness shown in wake of Katrina.

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in the last week of August, 2005  the Bayport-Blue Point Chamber of Commerce immediately set about to help small business owners dealing with the devastating consequences.

Through a little research the chamber located a business group called Biloxi Bay Chamber of Commerce and began fundraising to send a donation to help rebuild.

“The chamber researched the port areas of New Orleans to see if there was a chamber named ‘bay port’ or ‘blue point’ and as there wasn't it chose to help the Biloxi Bay chamber organization,” relates Bayport-Blue Point Chamber President Steve Klinzing, who owns State Farm Insurance in Bayport.

The B-BP chamber fundraised and sent a donation that helped the Biloxi group rebuild a facility lost to Katrina.

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Now, seven years later and a month after the devastation from super storm Sandy on Long Island, the Biloxi Bay Chamber aims to return the act of kindness.

“They reached out to us right after the storm and said we want to help you like you helped us,” said Klinzing.

The Biloxi group is holding a wine and fish pairing dinner event in early January. The B-BP chamber plans to use the donation to help fund outreach work, which supports community events such as the Boo Du race, and also donate to local Sandy relief efforts.

“When they called they said that since we had been there for them they wanted to be there for us,” said Klinzing. “It’s amazing.”

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