The Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) is pleased to announce the launch of “THRIVE Louisiana,” a free digital employee training tool for restaurants. As restaurants begin to reopen their establishments, the state guidelines indicate that COVID-19 specific-training is required for all employees. This training is offered complimentary for the first two months following sign up.
“We knew that we’d have to pivot quickly to support our restaurant and bar industry as they approached reopening. The MLevel team approached us with a Louisiana focused solution using their industry leading employee development platform. That they are offering it at no cost to our Louisiana restaurants is a great help during this stressful time.”
THRIVE Louisiana is aligned with the Office of the State Fire Marshal’s Guidelines for Restaurants, Cafés, Coffee Shops and Bars with an LDH Foodservice Permit. The training can be completed in less than 30 minutes with areas of focus that include: employee health screenings; social distancing; proper handwashing; and enhanced sanitation measures.
The LRA partnered with MLEVEL to offer this resource relying on guidance from Dash Hospitality and Taylor English Duma LLP and it meets the standards required by the Governor’s Order.
Visit: www.LRA.org and click on the THRIVE Louisiana banner to sign up today
The United Health Foundation has committed $500,000 to provide urgent assistance to Louisiana residents experiencing homelessness and food insecurity as they face unprecedented hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic. The partnerships with Covenant House New Orleans and Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans are part of UnitedHealth Group’s (NYSE: UNH) previously announced initial $50 million commitment to fight COVID-19 and support those most directly impacted, including health care workers, hard-hit communities, seniors and people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity.
“The COVID-19 public health emergency has compounded the many challenges faced by Louisiana’s most vulnerable residents, such as those experiencing homelessness, hunger or food insecurity,” said Warren Murrell, chief executive officer, Peoples Health and UnitedHealthcare Government Programs, Louisiana. Our partnerships with Covenant House New Orleans and Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans will provide critical aid to communities who need it most.”
The partnerships in Louisiana include:
“One in five households in South Louisiana are at risk of hunger. As unemployment skyrockets and schools remain closed, the demand on food pantries is increasing,” said Natalie Jayroe, president and chief executive officer, Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans. “The generous support from the United Health Foundation will allow us to provide meals to children, seniors and families who are in critical need.”
UnitedHealth Group, including UnitedHealthcare, Optum and the United Health Foundation, has a long history of addressing homelessness and food insecurity — key determinants of health among vulnerable populations in Louisiana and across the country. The United Health Foundation recently announced $5 million in national partnerships with the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, the Feeding America network of member food banks, and Meals on Wheels America as part of its commitment to fight COVID-19 and support impacted communities.
Firms of fewer than 100 employees will be able to borrow up to $100,000 at below-market interest rates
Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced a new Louisiana Loan Portfolio Guaranty Program, which 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 Guaranty 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 disbursed to eligible small businesses across Louisiana.
“Time and again, Louisianans have demonstrated the desire and commitment to help their neighbors in times of crisis,” Gov. Edwards said. “The Loan Portfolio Guaranty Program is another great example of that service. So far, we have commitments from more than 30 banks across Louisiana who have agreed to participate in this program. We believe it will be instrumental in helping our small businesses recover from the COVID-19 crisis.”
The Louisiana loan program partners — LED, LBA and LPFA — envision helping small businesses meet critical needs for operating their firms during and beyond the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The beauty of this program is we are not competing with the essential financial products offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration — we are complementing SBA,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “Our bankers know their customers well. They have confidence in the LPFA to administer this program in a professional, proactive manner; and they have the further confidence of an LED loan guaranty fund that will enhance the security of these loans.”
LPGP loans will provide up to $100,000 in immediate financing to help small firms impacted by COVID-19 meet their payroll, retain employees, pay their rent and mortgages, and keep their lights on and their doors open. Interested businesses may find loan details at OpportunityLouisiana.com/covid19, and a list of participating bankers will be posted at the site by Friday as banks complete their participation agreements.
“Louisiana banks play an important role in economic activity, and continue to do so during disaster recovery,” said Louisiana Bankers Association CEO Robert Taylor. “The work Louisiana Economic Development and the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority have done on this loan guaranty program for small businesses is great. We appreciate the opportunity to get the program details out to all the bankers in the state. The can-do spirit of everyone involved has been very positive.”
“The LPFA has an extensive history of assisting the State of Louisiana in some of its most challenging times,” said President and CEO James W. Parks II of the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority. “I am pleased that LPFA’s experience and capacity has allowed us to quickly bring this program forward. Access to funding for Louisiana businesses is a priority, and by working with our Louisiana banking community we can make loan decisions here in Louisiana. This state guaranty program will leverage available funds and enhance eligibility.”
Through the program, bankers will have the flexibility to extend loan terms for up to five years, while interest rates will be below conventional commercial lending rates and no higher than 3.5 percent. To date, participating banks have requested allocations for about two-thirds of the $50 million in loan capacity available through LPGP.
Other lenders interested in participating should contact LED by calling Business Development Manager Kelly Raney at 225.342-0411 or by emailing LEDSmallbizloans@la.gov.
Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more vibrant Louisiana economy. LED cultivates jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana, and promotes business opportunity for employers of all sizes. In 2019, LED attracted more than 80 new economic development projects representing 12,300 new jobs, 15,500 retained jobs and over $8.4 billion in new capital investment. LED’s Small Business Services team assisted more than 9,500 Louisiana small businesses and entrepreneurs in 2019. For more information, visit OpportunityLouisiana.com.
The Louisiana Bankers Association is the professional trade organization for commercial banks and thrifts in Louisiana. Founded in 1900, the LBA works to provide advocacy, communication, education and other services to its member institutions, and to provide banking information to the general public. For more information, visit LBA.org.
The Louisiana Public Facilities Authority is a self-supporting public trust and public corporation that issues taxable and tax-exempt bonds to finance projects throughout the state. LPFA finances industrial and economic development projects; and provides low-cost funding for hospitals and hospital equipment, universities and other educational facilities, as well as essential programs for state and local governmental units. The LPFA does not receive any funds from the state for its operations. To learn more about the LPFA, visit LPFA.com.
In order to help you see all relevant information in one place, we have consolidated documents, with a focus on the Paycheck Protection Program, into a CARES Act Binder. This binder contains information from various sources, and includes:
ASSISTANCE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.
Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.
What other tax relief options are available?
How do I apply for PPP loan?
What businesses are eligible for the PPP?
What is the PPP maximum loan amount?
Are there any collateral or personal guarantee requirements?
What can you use the loan for?
How does the PPP loan forgiveness work?
I’ve read the CARES Act requires businesses receiving federal assistance to be neutral in labor organizing activities. Do labor neutrality requirements apply to my restaurant’s participation the PPP loan program?
In response to the current COVID-19 event, pursuant to La. R.S. 23:184.1, the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) will begin issuing sixty (60) day blanket Employment Certificates for employers desiring to employ minors in the State of Louisiana. Employment Certificates issued due to this event shall expire sixty (60) days from the date of issuance. Upon expiration, employers will be required to obtain Employment Certificates as required pursuant to La. R.S. 23:181 et. seq.
Employers desiring to obtain an Employment Certificate pursuant to this memorandum must submit a completed and signed “Application to Employ Minors under 18” along with proof of age to firstname.lastname@example.org. The application can be downloaded from the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s website or by copying and pasting the following web address into your web browser: http://www.laworks.net/Downloads/WFD/MinorApplicationToEmployForm.pdf.
Incomplete applications will not be processed. Employers should allow three (3) days for processing.
When the application has been approved, the employer will be notified via email from the LWC Office of Workforce Development. The names of those minors who are approved to work pursuant to the Employment Certificate will also be attached to the email. As indicated, blanket Employment Certificates are effective for a maximum of sixty (60) days. Blanket Employment Certificates are not transferable. Certificates are required to be kept at the minor’s work location.
Any questions or concerns regarding this memorandum should be directed to email@example.com.
Our LRA SIF online safety video library Safety Source has set up a specific tab for COVID-19. Under the tab, you will find links to safety videos dealing specifically with the virus and protecting employees.
To access the videos, click HERE.
The username is LRASIF and the passkey is SAFETY.