State Treasurer Schroder Says No Main Street Money Left to Move

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BATON ROUGE – Last week, Gov. John Bel Edwards requested that the Louisiana Legislature redirect $175 million in unspent Main Street Recovery Grant Program money to help meet other urgent needs. Edwards said $75 million should go the state’s unemployment trust fund, another $75 million to local governments most impacted by the pandemic and $25 million to businesses most impacted by the phase 2 and 3 shutdowns.

In response, State Treasurer John M. Schroder said Edwards’ proposal would “further devastate struggling small businesses.”

“If the governor removes $175 million from the Main Street Recovery Program, 79% of eligible businesses who have already applied won’t receive the grant they are entitled to,” he said. “This would be catastrophic to thousands of small businesses across this state.”

Even though the Main Street program got off to a slow start, Schroder said it’s working as planned and supporting small businesses statewide. He said that, in the next few days, program administrators will stop taking applications because all of the $275 million will be obligated – even if only a small portion of that has actually been distributed through grants whose average size is $11,500.

“The governor and I agree on one thing,” said Schroder. “The balance of the Unemployment Trust Fund is a huge problem. Yet, once again, the governor wants to resolve a financial problem with a short-sighted solution. At the rate the trust fund is dwindling, shifting money from Main Street to the trust fund would only raise the balance for a few weeks. Our small businesses need our help – not short-term budget tricks designed to save the governor from making hard decisions.”

Categories: COVID-19, Politics, Today’s Business News