NEW ORLEANS (11/28/07)--ASI FCU in New Orleans is working to create a Web-based micro-lending pilot program that will assist small businesses trying to reopen and foster growth of start-up businesses. Shannon Cian, community development specialist for ASI FCU, delivered a keynote address on disaster preparedness during the National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations’ (NACUSO) third annual Business Services Collaborative Nov. 7-9 in New Orleans. She recounted the impact Hurricane Katrina had on ASI’s membership, employees and the credit union’s viability in the weeks and months following the disaster. “You always want to have a disaster plan in place,” Cian said. Cian detailed ASI’s efforts to help members, including offering “workout loans” for members with severely overdrawn accounts who wanted to re-establish their membership with the credit union and building new branches to serve the Asian-American and Latino communities. ASI also created A Shared Initiative Inc., a foundation dedicated to anti-poverty programs and the rebuilding and redevelopment of the Upper Ninth Ward, where many of its members resided when the hurricane hit.