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SMALL BUSINESSES ELIGIBLE FOR NEW STATE GRANTS

SMALL BUSINESSES ELIGIBLE FOR NEW STATE GRANTS

SMALL BUSINESSES ELIGIBLE FOR NEW STATE GRANTS

If you are a small business owner based in Louisiana, and did not receive other federal aid through the Paycheck Protection Program or through a U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loan, or insurance for interruptions to their business, you may qualify for a grant of up to $15,000. Distribution of these grant payments IS expected to begin in July.

The grants are intended to help businesses that ceased operations during the pandemic, or that incurred unexpected expenses because of the current health crisis. The funding for these grants comes from $300 million of the $1.8 billion Louisiana received under the federal CARES Act. This money was originally provided to Louisiana to cover expenses and losses experienced by local governments, but state lawmakers decided that a portion should be allotted to the thousands of small businesses in the state.

Reportedly, there are approximately 400,000 small businesses in Louisiana, and of those 70,000 received PPP money. With numbers like that, it is apparent that the $300 million will run out very quickly. Also, of the $300 million, $40 million has been set aside for minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses and veterans. Since it is not known how many businesses received insurance money for interruption of operations, there is no way to know how many businesses are eligible for the grants.

To qualify, businesses have to be located in Louisiana, cannot have more than 50 full time employees as of March 1, and cannot be owned by a larger company.

Another program to help small businesses, the Main Street Lending Program, has experienced difficulty in getting started. This is a Federally sponsored program to provide loans to small businesses that experienced losses due to the pandemic. These loans will be administered through banks, but some banks were slow to participate. The program is also part of the CARES Act. Click here for full information on this program.

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