Local small businesses unable to take advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan program will have another option for their cash flow needs: the Louisiana Treasury Department’s Main Street Recovery Program, set to launch soon.
While the application portal has not yet opened, a launch date for the small business grant program—established by Act 311, which set aside $300 million from the federal CARES Act—will be announced by July 1, the Treasury Department said during a Resilient Louisiana Commission meeting on Friday. However, as reported by Daily Report last week, the department has yet to announce a contractor to administer the program.
For the first 21 days of the program, grants will be given only to businesses that didn’t receive a PPP loan, insurance payment or EIDL. After those first three weeks, $40 million will be designated only for businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans, until the program has been active for 60 days.
The state treasury department must issue a payment or rejection within 20 days of receiving an application.
Louisiana businesses can apply for up to $15,000 to cover eligible expenses such as costs tied to creating social distancing, cleaning and disinfecting, purchasing PPE, contactless equipment, teleworking expenses, drive-thru window installation, signage pertaining to reopening or restructuring, and other necessary reopening expenses.
Other eligible expenses include business interruption costs related to COVID-19 such as unemployment insurance costs, providing paid sick leave, inventory replacement, increased labor costs, mortgage interest, rent or payroll.
However, the grant program will not cover costs tied to lost profits or revenue, damages that have been or will be covered by insurance, costs that have been or will be reduced by any other federal or state program, severance pay or legal settlements.
To qualify for a grant, businesses must have been domiciled in Louisiana since March 1, 2020, suffered an interruption of business and meet the other following criteria:
- At least 50% owned by one or more Louisiana residents;
- Filed Louisiana taxes in 2018 or 2019 or will file taxes in 2020;
- Had no more than 50 full-time employees as of March 1, 2020;
- Have customers or employees visit a physical location;
- Are not part of a bigger business with more than 50 full-time workers;
- Does not exist for the purpose of advancing partisan political activity and does not directly lobby federal or state officials;
- Does not derive income from passive investments without active participation in business operations.
Updates will be posted at https://www.treasury.la.gov/main-street