New Orleans & Company continues to stay engaged with local and state health department officials as well the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to stay abreast of the rapidly evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We are working daily to keep you updated on this fluid situation as it applies to our industry.
Below you will find a library of resources to help your business navigate this situation, as well as updates on guidance from our health partners and restrictions put in place by the city to slow the community spread of the virus. We have also compiled a library of resources for hospitality industry workers including unemployment resources, job openings, relief funds and more.
Both the CDC, and City of New Orleans, have advised the use of cloth face masks to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus. At this time both directives are voluntary. The most effective way to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus is to abide by the stay at home directives.
New Orleans is a resilient city and we will get through this together. Let’s focus on making prudent decisions, being good citizens and good neighbors and taking all advice from health experts. We will continue to update these resources and keep you apprised of this rapidly developing situation.
As we all unpack the federal economic stimulus bill, we will continue to relay to you what it means to your businesses and your employees. Below we've highlighted a few key elements of the bill and provided two summaries from our national partners provide a helpful overview on the impact of this legislation.
As part of the CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program is a loan from the SBA designed to help allow small businesses to keep their teams employed during this crisis. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Learn more >>
Another element of the CARES Act, the Employee Retention Tax Credit is available for employers who are closed, partially closed, or experiencing significant revenue losses as a result of COVID-19. Learn more >>
New federal paid leave mandates have passed under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. In short, most employers are now required to provide sick leave to workers affected by the COVID-19 crisis, and federal tax credits will be offered in an attempt to reimburse employers. The US Department of Labor is authorized to waive the mandate for some small businesses, and state officials expect that guidance by next week. Lean more >>.
IRS delays income tax payments. Payments originally due on April 15 can be delayed until July 15 without penalties or interest. Similarly, the new deadline for corporate tax payments up to $10 million is also July 15. Learn more >>.
Governor John Bel Edwards signed a proclamation providing guidelines and relief for students seeking TOPS funding. Read the full proclamation.
LDR has issued a two-month extension, to May 20, for businesses to file returns for their sales and excise taxes. According to LDR's official announcement, the extension will apply to sales, beer, and wine excise tax returns and payments for the February 2020 period. In addition, the Department will be waiving penalties and interest for returns and payments received by the extended deadline.
LDI has issued Emergency Rule 36. Under the emergency rule, health insurers must: Waive cost sharing for COVID-19 testing when ordered in accordance with CDC guidelines and are prohibited from requiring prior authorization for this testing; Permit early refills, except for drugs in certain drug classes like opioids, when consistent with doctor/pharmacist approvals; Suspend the use of step therapy; Enhance access to mail order pharmaceuticals; Continue to ensure network adequacy given the anticipated increase in demand due to COVID-19.
Entergy has suspended disconnections for at least 30 days, effective March 13. Entergy encourages customers to make payments on their accounts if they are able. However, if customers are unable to pay, Entergy will work directly with them to make arrangements. Payment options can be discussed via phone by calling 1-800-ENTERGY (800-368-3749) or online through Entergy's Account Portal.
Get the latest updates on the city’s Coronavirus at Ready.NOLA.gov and text COVIDNOLA to 888777 to receive text alerts.
New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (NORTA) is limiting service routes and encouraging residents to limit use of public transportation when possible unless they are traveling for essential work such as healthcare and nutrition services. New Orleans' public transportation network of ferries, buses and streetcars will be limited.
As the Coronavirus evolves, GNO, Inc. is focusing on business continuity to ensure that we make it through the coming challenges safeguarding economic, as well as physical, health. If you are looking for PPE, sanitizer, food providers, and other related products and services that can help in the fight with Coronavirus, please see the GNOpivot Resource Tool for a sortable list of local companies who have “pivoted” to providing these emergency provisions.
GNO, Inc. has aggressively pushed for inclusion of Senator Rubio’s (R-FL) plan, which would use private banks to make quick SBA-backed loans to business. Proposed details include:
By using many of the guidelines and infrastructure of the 7(a) program, the loan will be handled by a bank, credit union or other lender in the community.
Existing 7(a) lenders are ready to go right away. Intention is to expand this list. The ideal outcome is for small businesses to be able to do all this with their own bank if they want.
The criteria for what qualifies as a small business is still being worked out, but lots of agreement that it needs to be more inclusive than current definition. The goal is to reach the largest % of Americans workers as possible.
This will not exclude any industry. It will apply to S Corp, C Corp, non-profits, partnerships, sole practitioners, etc. who meet the expanded criteria for small business.
The LRA is advocating on behalf of our industry at all levels and has a variety of resources for restaurants navigating the current climate.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and Secretary Don Pierson of Louisiana Economic Development have established an LED 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 LEDbiz@la.gov or via the toll-free hotline, (833) 457-0531. The COVID-19 hotline is staffed 8 a.m.-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.
The LED team has also provided resources on their website to help determine best steps for your business to recover as Congress works to finalize elements of a national support bill to restore our economy. The LED site even includes a rumor control Twitter feed to help distinguish between rumors and facts.
Small businesses are vital economic engines in every community and state, and they have helped make our economy the strongest in the world. The SBA issued the official disaster declaration for Louisiana small businesses, adding a link to their website to begin receiving applications to address revenue losses related to COVID-19. Low-interest loans with long-term repayment programs are available up to $2 million. SBA staff advise the process will take approximately 30-45 days to begin receiving funds and are encouraging applications immediately. Additionally, the SBA continues to assist small businesses with counseling and navigating their own preparedness plans
For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Small businesses are also advised to call your lenders. Your current bank may already be able to offer immediate bridge loan assistance or defer existing loan payments.
LABI hosted a conference call with the SBA, Monday, March 23. If you were unable to attend, you can download the SBA's PowerPoint Presentation.
Tell LABI How the Coronavirus Is Affecting Your Business - And How Officials Can Help
While the Louisiana Legislature's regular session is on hold due to COVID-19, our team at LABI is gathering both industry-specific and statewide information and suggestions for federal, state and local aid. Please click below to complete a one-question survey on the impact to your business operations.
In addition, please email LABI Senior Vice President Camille Conaway with your ideas on immediate and long-term aid: email@example.com. In the short term, tax relief, fast-track unemployment compensation, regulatory waivers and extensions of deadlines are just a few examples of policy improvements that might help. In the long run, we plan to also present solutions that will stimulate our economy in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis.
Please share your experiences and ideas.
We know that our hospitality partners and workforce are suffering right now. We’ve been in touch with the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s (LWC) State Rapid Response Coordinator about a pre-layoff program designed to help companies and their employees experiencing a layoff or closing.
The LWC Rapid Response Unit is available for assistance concerning temporary or permanent layoffs due to Covid-19. Workers who are impacted by closures or reduced hours may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits.
Under new guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, the state is now permitted to pay benefits to workers when:
An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing employees from coming to work;
An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and
An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member.
These new provisions do not require an employee to quit in order to receive benefits due to the impact of COVID-19, nor will employees have to conduct the usual job search required of Unemployment Compensation recipients.
As cases have reached across the state, the Louisiana Department of Health has resources available for the state's business community, including printable guides
For more information, visit LDH's coronavirus website, call the Louisiana 211 Network or text the keyword LACOVID to 898-211 for regular text updates from LDH on the coronavirus in our state.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has developed resources, guidance and information for American businesses and workers.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has also created a Disaster Help Desk for Business - an information concierge to assist small businesses with disaster readiness, relief and long-term recovery. Find the help desk online, by dialing 888-MY-BIZ-HELP or sending a message to BizHelpdesk@uschamber.com.
The CEOs of America's leading companies recognize the magnitude of the COVID-19 crisis and are focused on ways to support employees, customers, communities and the country.
Please use the following resource page with expert resources – including the CDC, WHO and statements from our industry partners – to share with any concerned customers.
During these stressful times, the Louisiana Department of Health has established a hotline to help residents of Louisiana cope with everything. Call the Keep Calm Through COVID hotline at 1-866-310-7977 at any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All calls are confidential. This line is for counseling only, and people calling for general information should call 211.
We have gathered information on available job opportunities, unemployment resources, free food initiatives and more resources for individuals impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic.
Visit cdc.gov for all kinds of information about the COVID-19 epidemic, federal responses and steps to take to protect yourself, your business and your community form the continued spread of the virus. Businesses and anyone else looking for a direct line to the CDC can contact the 24/7 hotline at 770-488-7100 or by submitting the form below.
Contact New Orleans & Company directly should you have any industry-specific questions or concerns about the hospitality and tourism industry.