|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 www.gnoinc.org.