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COVID-19 Resources for Businesses and Employees

It’s vitally important to support local businesses when times are tough. In Lafayette, not only are we facing the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, we are facing a new oil crunch just as the region is emerging from the 2014 downturn. We all have a role to play in supporting our local businesses and their employees—who are our friends, families and neighbors. I encourage you to support your favorite local retailer, service provider, or other business over the coming weeks and months.

Here are resources available to businesses and their employees. We will continue to update this list as we learn more.

What's New



Resources for Business

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act

This document provides a high-level summary of the individual, workforce, small business, revenue, and education provisions contained within H.R. 748, which passed the Senate on Wednesday, March 25th. The full legislative text of the CARES Act will be posted on Congress.gov and will be accessible by searching H.R. 748.

Paycheck Protection Program

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted on March 27, 2020, includes a key provision –the Paycheck Protection Program–that expands the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) existing 7(a) loan program. The program provides $349 billion for small businesses to cover near-term operating expenses and keep their employees.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick or family leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The act will go into effect on April 1, 2020 and provide for paid leave under the Emergency Paid Leave Act and the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act.

Department of Labor Q&A  |  Overview of Acts

U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for each affected small business. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

Learn more about applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

Independent Contractors, Self Employed, Sole Proprietors are eligible to apply for SBA Disaster Loans.

COVID-19 Help Wanted

LEDA launched www.lafayette.org/helpwanted to identify businesses hiring additional workers to meet customer demand during the COVID-19 public health emergency. If your business is hiring, let us know the details by emailing our Workforce Development team.

Louisiana Workforce Commission
For Employers: Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) Guidance for Employers

If you are temporarily closing or reducing your hours of operations due to COVID-19, please contact the LWC to discuss how they can provide assistance and answer your questions about unemployment insurance and other programs and resources available. Contact LWC by email with your unemployment insurance questions. Be sure to provide your company’s name, a point of contact, telephone number and email address, as well as specifics on the assistance you are requesting.

Louisiana employers will not be impacted by unemployment benefits paid to workers due to COVID‐19. Governor John Bel Edwards issued proclamation (JBE 2020‐27) to relieve employers of benefit charges associated with COVID‐19. This means that any unemployment benefits workers collect as a result of the pandemic will not be charged to individual employer UI tax accounts.

Minor Work Permits

In response to the current COVID-19 event, pursuant to La. R.S. 23:184.1 the Louisiana Workforce Commission will begin issuing 60 day blanket Employment Certificates for employers desiring to employ minors in the State of Louisiana. Employers desiring to obtain an Employment Certificate pursuant to this memorandum must submit via email a completed and signed “Application to Employ Minors under 18” along with proof of age. Incomplete applications will not be processed. Employers should allow three (3) days for processing.

Deferral Announced for 2020 1Q Unemployment Wage and Tax Reports

Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) announced the deadline for first quarter 2020 wage and tax reports will be deferred to June 30, 2020. The LWC previously announced that it was granting Louisiana employers a temporary deferral from paying their first quarter 2020 unemployment taxes until June 30. The latest deferral now makes both the wage and tax reports and the 1Q 2020 unemployment tax payment due at the same time, rather than having an earlier deadline for wage and tax report submissions.

Louisiana Department of Revenue

The filing and payment deadline for the February 2020 sales tax period is extended to May 20, 2020. This is an automatic extension and no extension request is necessary. The Department will waive delinquency penalties and compromise interest associated with delinquent sales tax remittances as long as the return and payment are received by the extended due date of May 20, 2020.

IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief

As part of the federal government's response to the Coronavirus crisis, the Internal Revenue Service issued guidance allowing all individual tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments originally due on April 15 until July 15 without penalties or interest. Similarly, the new deadline for corporate tax payments up to $10 million is also July 15.

Louisiana Economic Development

Louisiana Economic Development (LED) is currently monitoring the impact of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. LED is focusing on business continuity aimed at safeguarding economic, as well as physical health. This information is in addition to that found on the Governor’s website; it will focus on useful resources and information for businesses and individuals.

LED help Desk for Louisiana Businesses

Louisiana Economic Development has opened a 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 [email protected] or via the toll-free hotline, (833) 457-0531. The COVID-19 hotline is staffed from 8 a.m. to 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.

 

Facebook Grants

Facebook will offer $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in the next coming weeks. They also have a Business Resilience Toolkit and Quick Action Guide available for download.

Resources for Restaurants

The LRA.org website has information for restaurants to make fact-based decisions during the COVID-19 event. The site has links for employers, employees, and links to interim work opportunities for those facing decreased work opportunities.


Acadiana Business Resource Webinars

To support Acadiana's business community – particularly our small businesses – LEDA and our partners will host a series of webinars on timely and relevant topics related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Click here to see scheduled webinars, slides and recorded video.


Recommendations for Business

Resources, guidance, and information available for businesses and workers.  

Services for Business

Learn about various free or discounted services for business, including communication services and educational opportunities.


Resources for Employees

Get the latest information on various programs in place to assist employees impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Programs include:
  • Louisiana Workforce Commission: Unemployment Claims
  • LEDA Virtual Job Fair
  • COVID-19 Help Wanted
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)
  • LA Wallet
  • LPSS Minor Work Permits
  • Resources for Restaurant Workers
  • Assistance for Artists, Musicians, and Service Industry Workers
  • Federal Housing Finance Agency

Additional Resources and Information

Local

232-HELP
AcadianaVOAD
City of Broussard
City of Carencro
City of Scott
City of Youngsville
Community Foundation of Acadiana: Acadiana Disaster Response Fund
Downtown Lafayette 
Lafayette Consolidated Government
Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission
Lafayette Parish School System
One Acadiana
South Louisiana Community College
Town of Duson
UL Lafayette
United Way of Acadiana

 

State

Office of the Governor
Louisiana Association of Business and Industry
Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center (LABEOC)
Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services
Louisiana Department of Corrections
Louisiana Department of Education
Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
Louisiana Department of Health Coronavirus Dashboard
Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development
Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles
Louisiana Workforce Commission

Local News Sources

KATC
KLFY
KADN
The Daily Advertiser
Acadiana Advocate
The Current

Statewide Stay at Home Order Issued

Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statewide Stay at Home order which goes into effect Monday, March 23, at 5:00 p.m., to limit movements outside of the home beyond essential needs and essential work as outlined in the order. View the full order here. Examples of essential workers as defined by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), can be found here and here. Lafayette Mayor-President Guillory's proclamation is here.

 


Questions?

Do you have questions or something to add? Email us.