COVID-19 Updates from the City of New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS – From the Office of Community and Economic Development:
IRS Employee Retention Credit under the CARES Act
The Employee Retention Credit is a fully refundable tax credit for employers equal to 50 percent of qualified wages (including allocable qualified health plan expenses) that Eligible Employers pay their employees. This Employee Retention Credit applies to qualified wages paid after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. The maximum amount of qualified wages taken into account with respect to each employee for all calendar quarters is $10,000, so that the maximum credit for an Eligible Employer for qualified wages paid to any employee is $5,000.
Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has several programs to support businesses and business owners as they navigate the COVID crisis.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL): The SBA declared a disaster in the state of Louisiana and made Economic Injury Disaster Loans available to small businesses (including sole proprietors) and nonprofits. Impacted small businesses may apply for up to $2 million in working capital to pay for fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the COVID-19 disaster. Loan terms (3.75% interest rate for small businesses; 2.75% for nonprofits) may be extended up to 30 years to keep payments affordable. With the passage of the CARES Act, up to $10,000 of an EIDL is forgivable.
- Paycheck Protection Program: The CARES Act created the Paycheck Protection Program, which is an expansion of the existing SBA 7(a) program. Working through a network of approved lenders, this program forgives loans to employers, independent contractors, and gig workers who maintain their payrolls. Rent, mortgage payments, and some other eligible expenses are also forgivable. Reach out to your lender or an approved SBA 7(a) lender to apply.
This SBA CARES flow chart helps businesses navigate these two programs, and please reach out to your bank, the Louisiana SBDC, or a TA provider for assistance with applying.
APPROVED SBA 7(A) LENDERS IN NEW ORLEANS
Biz Capital BIDCO, 909 Poydras St., suite 2230,(504) 832-1993
Business Resource Capital, 3801 Canal St., suite 320, (504) 524-6172
Fidelity Homestead Bank, 201 St. Charles Ave., (985) 871-4202
First Bank & Trust, 909 Poydras St.,(985) 249-6761
Gulf Coast Bank & Trust, 200 St. Charles Ave., (504) 561-6100
Hope Credit Union, 1726 O.C. Haley Blvd., (504) 527-0688
Liberty Bank, 6600 Plaza Drive, suite 600, (504) 240-5107
Regions Bank, 1920 St. Charles Ave., (504) 544-6017
Regional Loan Corp., 3810 Canal St., suite 320, (504) 524-6172
Whitney Bank, 228 St. Charles Ave., (504) 846-2577
*list of approved lenders will be expanded as a part of the CARES Act
Louisiana Workforce Commission
If you are temporarily closing or reducing your hours of operations due to COVID-19, please contact the LWC to discuss how they can provide assistance and answer your questions about unemployment insurance and other programs and resources available.
Employers are encouraged to explore options for their staff, including furloughing or reducing hours while maintaining employee benefits. The state will suspend benefit charges that employers would incur as a result of COVID-19. Employers are to complete the unemployment form stating “reduction in hours due to COVID-19”. They can also state the employee has been laid off with an anticipated return date.
Contact LWC at EmployerServices@lwc.la.gov with your unemployment insurance questions. Be sure to provide your company’s name, a point of contact, telephone number and email address, as well as specifics on the assistance you are requesting. The Employer Call Center, 225-326-6999, is also available.