Initial public response to Hurricane Katrina has died down and homeless families, jobless parents and bankrupt small businesses need our help. I propose establishing a small business venture fund that will provide loans of up to $5000 to support the rebuilding of a business. An amount that meager won’t fund the rebuilding of a restaurant or retail business, but it may be all that’s needed to get a craftsman back in business, a construction worker a new set of tools, a shoeshine operator a set of supplies and a stand. Here’s the deal. My wife and I are in for $5000. If we can get a minimum commitment of $50,000, we’ll approach a corporation or foundation for matching funds. Then we’ll have the respected New Orleans City Business magazine disperse the money to worthy loan recipients, the little guy and gal who most run the risk of falling through the cracks. What do you think? It’s not as easy as writing a check to the Red Cross, but it could be equal or greater value when the waters recede and memories fade. As always I seek and value your feedback and response to what I propose. (firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-307-8773).