Week in Review, July 13-17: More Restrictions, School Angst
NEW ORLEANS – Due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, Gov. John Bel Edwards put new rules into effect closing bars, requiring masks and limiting gatherings of more than 50 people statewide. Later in the week, state Attorney General Jeff Landry made headlines for two reasons: 1) he said that Edwards’ executive order was likely unconstitutional and 2) he tested positive for coronavirus. … Meanwhile, there is much debate about how and and if schools can reopen in the fall. … One person who’s in favor of a full reopening, Vice President Mike Pence, visited Louisiana Tuesday to meet with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, members of the state’s congressional delegation and health officials to discuss the pandemic.
Aid for business owners, workers and renters
Louisiana State Treasurer John Schroder was a guest on the Biz Talks podcast to explain the details of the Main Street Recovery grant program, which will give up to $15,000 to Louisiana small businesses to reimburse them for COVID-19-related expenses. Business owners should be gathering documents now and can apply starting July 28. … In related news, Louisiana started accepting applications Wednesday for a $250 one-time payment offered to front-line employees who checked out grocery customers, worked at nursing homes and performed other essential tasks in the earliest days of the coronavirus pandemic. … On July 12, the SBA announced the end of its Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance program which provided U.S. small businesses, nonprofits and agricultural businesses a total of $20 billion in emergency funding. Even though there won’t be any more advances, businesses can still apply for EIDL loans at a 3.75% interest rate (2.75% for nonprofits). … The state launched a $24 million rent-assistance program.
Other news from the week
Gov. Edwards signed a bill long sought by the state’s business lobby that will change Louisiana’s civil litigation rules to lessen the money people can win against insurance companies and businesses in car accident lawsuits. … Raising Cane’s founder and CEO Todd Graves is planning a television reality series to help restaurants struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Producers are currently searching for restaurants to be featured on the show. … One of New Orleans’ most famous restaurants, K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen, announced it will be closing permanently. The restaurant was created by famed chef Paul Prudhomme in 1979. … And a new Mardi Gras krewe was born: Ten former float lieutenants from the Mystic Krewe of Nyx announced the debut of their new Mardi Gras organization, the Mystical Order of the Phoenix, and plans to ride on Feb. 6, 2021 with the Knights of Sparta.