Small Business Grants

The US Chamber of Commerce is offering small business grants of $5,000 to help businesses who employ 3 to to 20 peoples. Follow the link for more information and access to the application process.

Thanks to the Iberia Chamber of Commerce for sharing this resource.


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Small Business Guide to Emergency Loans

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce provides a guide to The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses who maintain their payroll during this emergency.

The attached document explains more.

USChamber Small Business (Emegency Loan)ELA Loan Guide.pdf

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GNO, Inc. Applauds Passage of the CARES Act

Includes Payroll Protection Plan, a critical provision aimed atkeeping workers employed and small businesses afloat

From Greater New Orleans, Inc., today, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act. The bill contains a number of provisions that will immediately help our families and businesses struggling with the impact of the virus.

“We are pleased to see Congress responding to the needs of our families and businesses, and providing direct financial assistance to keep workers on the job and our companies open,” said Michael Hecht, GNO, Inc. President and CEO. “We are especially pleased to see included in this Act the Payroll Protection Program, which will provide forgivable loans to a wide range of businesses. GNO, Inc. proposed a program similar to the Payroll Protection Program, and has been strongly advocating for it to be included. GNO, Inc. wants to recognize our congressional delegation who pushed the legislation across the finish line.”

The small business loans included in the legislation are administered by private banks, and guaranteed through the Small Business Administration’s existing 7(a) loan program. These loans can be used for expenses such as payroll, rent, mortgage and utility expenses – and eight weeks of expenses are forgivable as long as the company meets the loan criteria and maintains its employees on the payroll as outlined in the legislation. Employers with less than 500 employees are eligible and loans are capped at $10 million. This loan program is different from the existing SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans which is administered directly through the Small Business Administration.

GNO, Inc.’s Board Chairman, Guy Williams said, "At GNO, Inc., we are proud to be a source for accurate information during this crisis. We are also working every day to minimize the damage to our local economy and to prepare for the recovery to come."

The CARES Act also includes:

  • State Stabilization Fund – $150 billion to states and local governments, allocated by population
  • Individual Aid – $1200 financial assistance for most individuals, plus $500 for children (assistance reduced for individuals with adjusted gross incomes above $75,000 for individuals, $150,000 for couples)
  • Payroll Tax Credit Refunds – Advance refunds of payroll tax credits enacted in Families First Coronavirus Response Act, providing employers with financial assistance in paying mandated sick and family leave
  • Employee Retention Credit – Provides a refundable payroll tax credit for 50 percent of wages paid by employers during the COVID19 crisis; credit is available to employers whose operations were fully or partially suspended or whose gross receipts declined more than 50 percent
  • Enhanced Unemployment Insurance – Extension of unemployment benefits to nontraditional employees, including gig workers and freelancers; increases unemployment assistance for four months

While this aid package is a significant step, it is one of several phases of aid that will be needed to fully put America back to work. GNO, Inc. will continue to collaborate with stakeholders on additional policies that will help our businesses not only survive the current environment, but rebound with more resistance.

You can find an overview of the Payroll Protection Program here. You can also find general information on the GNO, Inc. Coronavirus Business Resource Page.

About Greater New Orleans, Inc.
GNO, Inc. is the regional economic development organization for Southeast Louisiana. The GNO, Inc. Mission is to create a Greater New Orleans with a thriving economy, and an excellent quality of life, for everyone. The GNO, Inc. Vision is for the Greater New Orleans region to fulfill its potential as one of the best places in the country to grow a company, and raise a family.

More information can be found at



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Information to Assist Your Business

Helpful information for businesses from Vermilion Economic Development Alliance,

Accessing Resources

In case you haven’t heard it lately…running a business is HARD. That’s why so many people avoid it, and unfortunately that’s why many fail. We get it. We respect you. We thank you. We are here to help. And don’t forget about your peers – they are doing amazing things to keep things alive. Ask for advice, follow their leadership. Please continue to use our website: for the latest information.

Gig Economy & Service Industry Workers:
Artists, Musicians, Restaurant Employees & Others

We added new resources to our website (look for the Gig Economy & Service Industry heading) to help you through this difficult time. And as always, if you locate new resources, please feel free to let us know!

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Federal Paid Leave

Employers: Take Note of New COVID-19 Federal Paid Leave Provisions

  • On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, in part, employment-related issues pertaining to COVID-19.
  • The legislation is the second COVID-19 federal relief effort, following the $8 billion emergency funding bill for prevention, preparation, and response. Congress has introduced a third package covering additional issues, including small business relief.
  • It is important to note that the "Families First" relief package’s requirements only apply to companies with fewer than 500 employees. The bill provides for the following:
    • Two weeks of paid sick leave for employees who have the Coronavirus, are symptomatic and may be diagnosed, or are quarantined upon medical advice or government procedures AND for employees who are caring for an individual impacted by any of the aforementioned circumstances.
    • Twelve weeks paid sick leave for employees caring for a child while school is closed.
    • Small businesses with 50 employees or fewer may be exempted if paying sick leave would cause material financial harm to the business.
    • Businesses who pay pay sick leave will be reimbursed in full within three months through a payroll tax credit.
View Relief Package Title-by-Title Summary
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SBA Disaster Aid Up to $2mil Now Available to All Parishes

From Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce, small business loans for impacted businesses are now available.

Impacted small businesses may apply for up to $2 million in working capital to pay for fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the COVID-19 disaster. Loan terms (3.75 percent interest rate for small businesses; 2.75 percent for nonprofits) may be extended up to 30 years to keep payments affordable.
From Louisiana Economic Development (LED):

"Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that small businesses in all 64 Louisiana parishes will have access to federal Small Business Administration disaster aid in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza confirmed that Louisiana’s more than 440,000 small business are eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans, which will be made available to eligible firms suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus."

Read the full update here >

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Gov. Edwards: All Louisiana Parishes Eligible For Covid-19 Business Aid

From Louisiana Economic Development, small business loans available.

LED | Louisiana Economic Development
News Update
SBA loans of up to $2 million will aid Louisiana’s more than 440,000 small businesses
BATON ROUGE — Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that small businesses in all 64 Louisiana parishes will have access to federal Small Business Administration disaster aid in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza confirmed that Louisiana’s more than 440,000 small business are eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans, which will be made available to eligible firms suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus.

“COVID-19 is a unique crisis affecting all walks of life, and that means Louisiana’s small business community will continue to be heavily impacted by disruptions to their operations,” Gov. Edwards said. “We are pleased to work with SBA and the federal government in providing this critical working capital to our small business owners who are suffering from the necessary measures installed due to the Coronavirus. Our hope is that these SBA disaster loans will be an important part of sustaining their businesses and providing support to their employees who make up over half of Louisiana’s private-sector workforce.”

Read more about the announcement.


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COVID-19 Business Resources and Guidance

One Acadiana is providing business resources in connection with COVID-19. See their website for details.
ne Acadiana is currently monitoring the regional impact of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. With this in mind, this page is designed to be a one-stop hub of resources and information for businesses and individuals in our region.O

One Acadiana






One Acadiana is tracking the COVID-19 crisis closely and working hard to provide the regional business community with the most updated facts and data. These are challenging times with information changing daily.

As always, if you have any questions please call us or visit our resource page at:


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