Where to Find COVID-19 Resources for Your Business

 

Broussard is open for business following Governor Edward’s May 11th proclamation moving Louisiana into Phase 1 starting May 15th.

New types of businesses that may open beginning on May 15, with 25 percent occupancy limits, sanitation guidelines and spacing for physical distancing include:

  • Interior stores at enclosed malls
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Barber shops and hair and nail salons
  • Casinos and Video Poker
  • Theaters
  • Racetracks (not open to spectators)
  • Museums, zoos, aquariums (no tactile exhibits)
  • Bars and breweries with LDH food permits

The following businesses remain closed: massage establishments and spas, tattoo parlors, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, trampoline parks, arcades, fairs, bars and breweries without LDH food permits, pool halls, contact sports, children’s play centers, playgrounds, theme parks, adult entertainment venues, and other similar businesses.

Resources for Businesses

Please consult with your banking, accounting, legal or tax professional to determine how these programs may impact your business and employees. Information is subject to change as rules are developed and finalized.

SBA Coronavirus Relief Options
In addition to traditional SBA funding programs, the CARES act established several new temporary programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak including: Paycheck Protection Program, EIDL Loan Advance, SBA Express Bridge Loans, and SBA Debt Relief.

Which program might be best for your business? View a comparison here.

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.

COVID-19-Related Tax Credits for Required Paid Leave

The FFCRA provides businesses with tax credits to cover certain costs of providing employees with required paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for reasons related to COVID-19, from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

Louisiana Loan Portfolio Guaranty Program

Louisiana Loan Portfolio Guarantee Program will offer loans of up to $100,000 to Louisiana small businesses of fewer than 100 employees that are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. To help Main Street and rural businesses sustain operations, the loans will require no payments for 180 days and carry below-market interest rates of no more than 3.5 percent. The Loan Portfolio Guarantee Program, or LPGP, is a partnership of Louisiana Economic Development, which will provide a loan guaranty fund; the Louisiana Bankers Association, whose membership will provide the loans; and the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority, which will administer the program. A total loan pool of $50 million will be quickly dispersed to eligible small businesses across Louisiana.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act  |  FAQs

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides economic assistance to workers, families, and small businesses. This document provides a high-level summary of the individual, workforce, small business, revenue, and education provisions contained within H.R. 748, which passed the Senate on Wednesday, March 25th. The full legislative text of the CARES Act will be posted on Congress.gov and will be accessible by searching H.R. 748. Information about Economic Impact Payments to individuals is here.

Paycheck Protection Program

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted on March 27, 2020, includes a key provision—the Paycheck Protection Program—that expands the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) existing 7(a) loan program. The program provides $349 billion for small businesses to cover near-term operating expenses and keep their employees. Sole proprietors, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and self-employed individuals are also eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program. Applications for small businesses and self-employed individuals/independent contractors are being accepted through commercial lenders. Applicants can apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and the Paycheck Protection Program if there are different uses of proceeds for each loan. Funds from the loans cannot be co-mingled.


Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick or family leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The act went into effect on April 1, 2020 and provides for paid leave under the Emergency Paid Leave Act and the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act.


U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for each affected small business. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

COVID-19 Help Wanted

LEDA launched www.lafayette.org/helpwanted to identify businesses hiring additional workers to meet customer demand during the COVID-19 public health emergency. If your business is hiring, let us know the details by emailing our Workforce Development team.

Louisiana Workforce Commission  |  Frequently Asked Questions 4/10/20
For Employers: Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) Guidance for Employers  |  FAQs for Employers

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. Contact LWC by email 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.

Louisiana employers will not be impacted by unemployment benefits paid to workers due to COVID‐19. Governor John Bel Edwards issued proclamation (JBE 2020‐27) to relieve employers of benefit charges associated with COVID‐19. This means that any unemployment benefits workers collect as a result of the pandemic will not be charged to individual employer UI tax accounts.

FAQs

Q: How do I make the State aware I am bringing an employee back from a lay off or work reduction?
A: Complete the New Hire Form for rehires on the Department of Children and Family Services website. This helps identify those who continue drawing benefits after returning to work.

Q: How do I make the State aware that I attempted to bring an employee back, but they refused?
A: Refusal of work issues should be reported through the File a Separation Notice on a Former Employee (Form 77). Select “File Employee Separation Notice” under Employer Services. You may indicate “quit-refusal of work” for each employee who does not return to work.

Q: What do I do if I find out that one of my workers is continuing to file for unemployment benefits although they have returned to work or I am paying them from a PPP loan?
A: If someone is drawing benefits while being paid and not reporting those wages to LWC, this should be reported here.

Minor Work Permits

In response to the current COVID-19 event, pursuant to La. R.S. 23:184.1 the Louisiana Workforce Commission will begin issuing 60 day blanket Employment Certificates for employers desiring to employ minors in the State of Louisiana. Employers desiring to obtain an Employment Certificate pursuant to this memorandum must submit via email a completed and signed “Application to Employ Minors under 18” along with proof of age. Incomplete applications will not be processed. Employers should allow three (3) days for processing.

Deferral Announced for 2020 1Q Unemployment Wage and Tax Reports

Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) announced the deadline for first quarter 2020 wage and tax reports will be deferred to June 30, 2020. The LWC previously announced that it was granting Louisiana employers a temporary deferral from paying their first quarter 2020 unemployment taxes until June 30. The latest deferral now makes both the wage and tax reports and the 1Q 2020 unemployment tax payment due at the same time, rather than having an earlier deadline for wage and tax report submissions.

Louisiana Department of Revenue

The Louisiana Department of Revenue have made extensions to several required filings. The latest information on extensions and deadlines can be found here.

IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief

As part of the federal government’s response to the Coronavirus crisis, the Internal Revenue Service issued guidance allowing all individual tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments originally due on April 15 until July 15 without penalties or interest. Similarly, the new deadline for corporate tax payments up to $10 million is also July 15.

Louisiana Economic Development

Louisiana Economic Development (LED) is currently monitoring the impact of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. LED is focusing on business continuity aimed at safeguarding economic, as well as physical health. This information is in addition to that found on the Governor’s website; it will focus on useful resources and information for businesses and individuals.

LED Help Desk for Louisiana Businesses

Louisiana Economic Development has opened a help desk that provides email and hotline support for Louisiana businesses impacted by COVID-19. For COVID-19 business questions, LED may be reached at [email protected] or via the toll-free hotline, (833) 457-0531. The COVID-19 hotline is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Be aware that high call volumes might result in delays. Callers are encouraged to keep trying, leave a voice mail or contact LED via email.

Resources for Restaurants

The LRA.org website has information for restaurants to make fact-based decisions during the COVID-19 event. The site has links for employers, employees, and links to interim work opportunities for those facing decreased work opportunities.

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