Yesterday evening, the House voted by unanimous consent to pass the Senate bill extending the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through August 8. The bill will now go to the President for his signature.
This bill does not change the PPP; it simply extends the window to apply for a PPP loan for another five weeks. The original program expired on June 30, with a balance of $130 billion dollars still available for loans. Once the President signs the bill, it’s expected the Small Business Administration will begin taking applications again.
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome signed an executive order Wednesday to require all commercial and nonprofit entities in the East Baton Rouge Parish to provide goods or services directly to the public to implement a “No Mask, No Service” policy.
As of July 1, 2020, East Baton Rouge Parish has experienced 5,350 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 271 confirmed deaths by the Louisiana Department of Health as a result of the disease.
“This is an effort to protect the health and well-being of residents and visitors — and to assist in the safe reopening of the parish economy without the need for the stricter economic mitigation efforts put in place earlier this year,” said Mayor Broome. “The “No Mask, No Service” policy will help ensure our businesses can remain open and safely serve customers. My message to our community is simple: save a life, save our economy, and wear a face covering.”
The executive order requires, at minimum, that all employees and visitors wear face coverings when in an area or while performing an activity that will involve close contact or proximity with the public. The “No Mask - No Service” Policy must be posted near all entrances and in clear view of any employees or members of the public entering the business.
During his press conference earlier today, Governor John Bel Edwards stated support for Broome’s mandate as well as others around the state.
“I want you to know that I appreciate the decision on her part, I also support similar mask mandates that have been put in place in Orleans Parish and in Jefferson Parish by LaToya Cantrell and Parish President Lee Shang,” said Governor John Bel Edwards.
The business community reached out to Mayor Broome for extra time to comply with the executive order, and to further support the effort. The executive order will be effective July 3, 2020, at 12 p.m. through August 3, 2020, and will be re-evaluated before August 3, 2020.
The Baton Rouge Fire Department and the Baton Rouge Police Department will be authorized to enforce the order.
Executive Order No Mask, No Service
Do I need to wear a face-covering outdoors?
Small businesses can start applying by July 28 for grants to help cover COVID 19-related expenses, State Treasurer John M. Schroder announced today at the State Capitol.
Through the Main Street Recovery Program, businesses can apply for up to $15,000 to cover eligible expenses. In the first 21 days of the program, grants will be given to businesses who didn't receive a Paycheck Protection Program loan, insurance payment or an Economic Injury Disaster loan. In the first 60 days, $40 million will go to businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans.
Postlethwaite & Netterville (P&N), which is the largest Louisiana-based CPA firm, will serve as the program administrator to take applications, run a customer contact center, help small businesses complete applications and help with statewide outreach. MLCworks, a woman-owned Louisiana business, will help with digital marketing and advertising. Technology will be handled in house through OpenGov, which already operates Treasury's transparency website.
"Main Street is a life line for small businesses who are going under because of the pandemic. As a business owner, you put your blood, sweat and tears into your business. You shouldn't see your life investment collapse overnight," said Treasurer Schroder. "Main Street will deliver grants to businesses who need them the most."
"On behalf of P&N's almost 400 Louisiana team members, we are extremely excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the Louisiana Main Street Recovery Program. As a Louisiana-based firm serving clients throughout the state, we have experienced firsthand the impact of COVID-19 on all aspects of operations. We are ready to work hard to help deliver much-needed financial assistance to Louisiana small businesses, and appreciate the confidence the Treasurer has placed in our team to help administer this program," said Dan Gardiner, P&N CEO and managing director.
For more information on Main Street, visit www.latreasury.com.
The Louisiana Department of Health recommends COVID-19 testing for any patients who are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath. If you have these symptoms, contact your primary care physician for guidance.
With the number of places provided COVID-19 tests increasing each week, people are having to wait longer for their results. Currently, some commercial labs that process the tests can take up to two weeks to report those results back to the patient.
The Department of Health does not get any test results, and we recommend that patients who get tested ask staff at the testing site when to expect results, and where to call to get those results. We recommend everyone ask for a phone number to call if you haven’t received your results within the time frame you were given.
Please report any discrepancies in the information below to email@example.com.
Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng will sign an emergency proclamation effective on Wednesday, July 1, requiring patrons to wear masks or face coverings (which includes cloth masks, scarves, bandanas, other cloth/fabric and face shields) while indoors and in any common area in all commercial buildings, public buildings and places of worship located in Jefferson Parish. It is also mandatory for all employees who deal with the public to wear a mask or face covering.
CLICK HERE to watch the Parish President’s press conference held on Monday, June 29, 2020 at 4 p.m.
According to Parish President Lee Sheng, “Cases continue to rise in Jefferson Parish and Health officials tell us that the best tool to reduce the transmission of this virus is for everyone to wear masks, especially indoors. Now more than ever, it is critical that businesses follow guidelines set forth to help protect the health and safety of their employees and patrons.”
According to Dr. Joseph Kanter with the Louisiana Department of Health, “From a public health perspective, this is the right call for Jefferson Parish. It will prevent infections and it will save lives.”
The Parish President’s order mandates that face coverings be worn in the circumstances and with the exceptions outlined below. It does not substitute for existing guidance about social distancing and handwashing.
People in Jefferson Parish must wear face coverings when they are in the high-risk situations listed below:
The following individuals are exempt from wearing a mask or face covering:
Residents wishing to report businesses who are not complying with guidelines can call the Jefferson Parish COVID Compliance – See It, Say It hotline at 504-736-6929 or they can access an online form at www.JeffParish.net. This is an anonymous hotline and form, but residents may leave their name and contact information should they wish to do so. Jefferson Parish Department of Property Maintenance Zoning / Quality of Life Inspectors are visiting businesses reported through the COVID Compliance – See It, Say It hotline and form to provide best practices materials. Businesses will receive an official warning after the first visit and Jefferson Parish will issue citations to businesses that continue to not be in compliance.
Business and faith leaders can visit OpenSafely.la.gov to receive additional guidance and updates from the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Louisiana Department of Health. People with general questions about COVID-19 can call 211. CLICK HERE for additional guidance from the CDC regarding cloth face coverings.
Mayor Cantrell has extended all current ABO permits until August 31, 2020. As such, the deadline to renew these permits July 31, 2020. Renewal applications should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Businesses holding Alcoholic Beverage Licenses receive a renewal application each year with a cover letter explaining renewal requirements including the due date for the renewals.
Tax Clearance forms were mailed by the Bureau of Revenue at the beginning of February. If you did not receive a tax clearance by mail, one may be obtained in person in located on the first floor of City Hall at 1300 Perdido St., Rm 1W15, New Orleans, LA between 8AM and 5PM Monday through Friday, by fax to 504-658-1606 or by email to email@example.com. The Alcoholic Beverage Unit of the Bureau of Revenue can also be contacted at 504-658-1674.
The “City of New Orleans Alcoholic Beverage Renewal Addendum” was also included in the mailing from Revenue at the beginning of February. You may mail the completed form directly back to the Bureau of Revenue at "Attn: ABO Unit, Bureau of Revenue, 1300 Perdido St., Rm 1W15, New Orleans, LA 70112." If you have already returned this form to the Department of Safety and Permits, it will be forwarded directly to the Bureau of Revenue and not scanned, copied, nor held by Safety and Permits.
This is the first year renewals will be submitted directly to the Department of Safety and Permits. To help us ensure we have current information, please include contact information for your businesses owners even if it has not changed. This will help provide better and more consistent communication with you.
For additional information, click HERE.
Indoor live entertainment, which includes, but is not limited to bands and karaoke, is not allowed in Phase 2.
Indoor live entertainment will be permitted, SUBJECT TO APPROVAL, in Phase 3.
In order to be considered for potential approval to host indoor live entertainment in Phase 3, written requests can be submitted to address the following:
Requests should include the registration number for the business or venue that is issued to you through “OpenSafely” (https://opensafely.la.gov) as well as the plan to accomplish the above requirements. Requests are to be emailed to SFMDispatch@gmail.com for review by the Office of State Fire Marshal and the Louisiana Department of Health.
There have been ongoing developments from the Small Business Administration (SBA) about the Paycheck Protection Program that are important for anyone who has borrowed money under that program and is either seeking or will seek forgiveness:
New, Simpler Forgiveness ApplicationsLate last week, the SBA and the Department of the Treasury released a revised PPP loan forgiveness application, which has been shortened from 11 pages to five (instructions can be found here).
Required documentation for Forgiveness Applications includes a PPP Schedule A, which is attached to the loan forgiveness application, and supplemental borrower-provided documentation verifying payroll and nonpayroll costs and full-time equivalent employees (FTEEs). The borrower is required to list information about employee compensation and FTEEs’ hours to determine whether there will be any reductions in the loan forgiveness amount. Typical documentation for verifying a borrower’s payroll and nonpayroll costs and FTEEs would consist of bank accounts, payment receipts, payroll tax filings reported to the IRS, lease agreements, utility invoices and copies of lender amortization schedules.
Voluntary documentation includes what is called a PPP Borrower Demographic Information Form. The form requests information about each of a borrower’s principals to collect data on veteran status, gender, race and ethnicity for PPP reporting purposes.
In addition, they released a new EZ version of the forgiveness application, Form 3850EZ, which is intended to be used by borrowers who (i) are self-employed and have no employees; or (ii) did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; or (iii) experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%. Instructions can be seen here. There are fewer calculations to determine loan forgiveness amounts and less documentation required for those borrowers using the EZ version of the loan forgiveness application, in addition to making certain representations and certifications.
In the event of an audit, all documentation identified in the loan forgiveness application instructions and all records relating to a borrower’s PPP loan must be maintained in a borrower’s files for at least six years after the date the loan is forgiven or repaid in full.
Was your business impacted by COVID-19?
Businesses must meet this criteria:
What information will be needed?
What's an eligible expense?
What's an ineligible expense?