Gulf States Real Estate Companies Expands into Alabama


Mike Saucier

COVINGTON, La. – Gulf States Real Estate Companies has announced its expansion into Alabama. The company, founded by Mike Saucier, primarily operates in Louisiana and Mississippi and additionally provides project management and associated services nationally. Gulf States has teamed up with the Mobile, Ala.-based Holyfield Companies, which currently operate commercial and residential real estate offices as well as an established appraisal division. Donald and Ronnie Holyfield will continue to maintain their appraisal business under the Holyfield Company name as Gulf States absorbs the real estate operations.

In addition to commercial and residential real estate brokerage, Gulf States will also offer project and construction management, property management and development services. Of note, Gulf States led as project manager the post-Katrina redevelopment of the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. Gulf States handled the financial and physical oversight of what Saucier classified as “putting Humpty Dumpty back together again,” to ready the facility for the Saints comeback on ESPN Monday Night Football. Gulf States was involved in an associated major real estate transaction which resulted in a long-term agreement with the Saints to stay in New Orleans well beyond its initial five-year commitment required by the NFL.

“Now more than ever, the Gulf South is becoming a highly sought-after area to live, work, and play,” said Saucier, who cites outdoor recreational activities along with good schools and affordable real estate as features of the area.

“We are excited to expand and create an outstanding team in association with Mike and the Gulf States Real Estate professionals,” said Donald Holyfield. “Merging our businesses was the next logical step to offer our clients more extensive services while continuing to provide the personalized attention and local market knowledge that we are known for in Alabama and the Florida panhandle.”

For more information about opportunities with Gulf States, contact Saucier at (985) 792-4385.


NEW ORLEANS – Who knew it was this hard to give away $275 million?


The Louisiana Main Street Recovery grant program debuted in late July as a way to distribute some of the state’s $1.8 billion in federal CARES Act relief funds to small businesses owners in the state who have incurred expense due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program’s creation was a victory for Louisiana Republicans, who advocated for using some of the money this way instead of sending it to state and city governments. 


So far, though, the distribution of funds has been going more slowly than expected.


“It is concerning to me that we put this kind of money aside for small businesses and so little has been used,” said Rep. Barbara Frieberg, a Baton Rouge Republican, during a legislative meeting on Monday.


The Department of Treasury, which runs the program, said that just under 4,000 small business owners have received funds so far. The average grant size is about $9,000 and the average wait time is a “few weeks” More than 6,000 applications have been rejected, meanwhile. One of the major reasons is that applicants hadn’t correctly filed taxes or an extension for 2018 or 2019. 


$29 million has been dispersed and another $63 million is “in the pipeline” to be paid, so that leaves another $184 million available before the program ends on Nov. 30. Of the grants that have been awarded or approved, $34.2 million has gone to businesses owned by minorities, women or veterans. The stated goal is to reach at least $40 million.


Use 2019 Taxes to Apply for ‘Quick Relief’


The Department of Treasury said it has made two major changes to the Main Street Recovery program to make it easier for people to access the funds.


First, small business owners who filed tax returns last year may now use those returns to estimate their expenses rather than show receipts. 


“There are two aspects of the program that are eligible expenses,” said Rachael Higginbotham of Postlethwaite & Netterville, the accounting firm that’s administering the program, on a Sept. 14 Zoom call hosted by Greater New Orleans Inc. “The first is pandemic-related costs: things like extra cleaning, signage and personal protective equipment. Those are costs associated with meeting public health requirements but there’s a second set of costs that are defined as 

business interruption expenses. That’s rent, utilities, payroll and all of those normal business operating costs. Quick relief is based off of business interruption expenses only so that’s why we’re looking at 2019 taxes because we’re assuming your businesses expenses from last year are similar to those from this year and that your business interruption calculation can be based off of last year.”


Definition of ‘Physical Location’ Has Been Broadened


The other big change is that administrators are re-interpreting the rule that applicants must “have customers or employees visit a physical location.” 


Now, the litmus test is whether or not you interact face-to-face with customers in any location. For example, electricians and plumbers interact with customers at their home or place of business, so they would qualify but online businesses do not interact face-to-face with customers so they don’t.


“here’s a lot of different scenarios we’ve seen but here’s one that wouldn’t be eligible,” said Higginbotham. “I have a cousin who buys fishing lures and then sells them online. He’s not eligible because he never meets with customers or employees in person. He’s strictly an online business, but a lot of others that may not have physical storefront do meet with employees or customers at a place of business and for the purposes of this program they would be eligible.”


On the Sept. 14 call, Schroder delivered a clear message: if you’ve already applied and been rejected, apply again now that the new rules are in place. And if you haven’t applied yet, now’s the time to get it done.


“We’re doing about $3 million a day now so it’s coming along,” he said. “Our biggest problem, honestly, is how many applications that we have that have been denied. We have a large amount that are denied for not filing taxes, not being current with the Secretary of State or not telling the truth when asked the question ‘Have you received any prior aid?’ My ask today is to please spread the word. I know we have several hundred thousand businesses out there that could use this money and have done all the things they’re supposed to do – file their taxes, going to work every day, doing what they need to do to survive this economy and they could use this money.”


Click here to apply.


 Program is moving along … well within reach of our target for minority …


“We’ve got about $43 million in awards out and 

All you have to do is file your taxes


Top 10 questions – we have around 26,000 apps in system so this won’t cover all scenarios


These are the ones that rise to top


Diff. between quick relief and …

Made changes on Friday so now …

Quick relief allows applicants to upload tax returns as basis for business expenses – before you had to submit documentation, rent. payroll, PPE receipts, 


Beginning on friday you don’t have to document those expenses to receive the max grant funding

The justification for that is …


Will not result in less grant money but more for some


Some should still itemize from 2020 – if you’re new or if you got money from EIDL, PPP that’s more than last year’s taxes


Physical presence


Applicant has to interact face to face with customers and employees

Not elligible – cousin who buys fishing lures and then sells them online – not eligible because never meets with costumes or employees in person but a lot of others that may not have physical storefront but …. And that would eligible interaction


Question #3 


Solely online does not quality



Error? Can I amend or start over




Why is EIDL a duplication of benefits if it’s a loan? We really have worked hard to understand ther requirements of cares act and uniform guidance so the main street recovery grant program is funding by the ..


Blah … all consider funds from same source a duplication of benefits even though it’s a loan, not a grant




When submit need to tell us how much PPE and EIDL received – will have to check against the SBA’s records


More than likely better option


Can submit for each business – 


Can check status by phone


Common mistakes – 


Categories: People On The Move, Real Estate, Today’s Business News