Louisiana's Main Street Recovery Program is awarding grants to small businesses that are facing hard times as a result of COVID-19. Through the program, you are allowed to apply for up to $15,000 to cover eligible expenses. Before we discuss those expenses, let's see who can actually qualify for the program.

You are eligible if you meet these requirements:

  • Were domiciled in Louisiana as of March 1, 2020
  • Suffered an interruption of business
  • At least 50% owned by one or more Louisiana residents
  • Filed Louisiana taxes in 2018 or 2019 or will file taxes in 2020
  • Had no more than 50 full-time employees as of March 1, 2020
  • Have customers or employees visit a physical location
  • Are not part of a bigger business with more than 50 full-time workers
  • Does not exist for the purpose of advancing partisan political activity and does not directly lobby federal or state officials
  • Does not derive income from passive investments without active participation in business operations

Now, if you're still unclear if you qualify to apply then click on this Eligibility Quiz. Chances are that will clear up any uncertainties you might have about your ability to participate in the program.

Let's assume you meet the requirements, here are the expenses Louisiana's Main Street Recovery program can help you recoup.

Costs that were incurred to meet public health requirements, such as:

  • Signage to create social distancing measures
  • Cleaning or disinfecting areas due to COVID-19
  • Personal protective supplies for employees or customers
  • Equipment necessary for public health or to respond to changes in the business environment, including but not limited to:
    • Equipment to screen employees or customers to ensure they are not positive for COVID-19
    • Equipment to track employees or customers who have tested positive for COVID-19
    • Technology expenses to facilitate teleworking
  • Rent for additional facilities or storage to allow for social distancing
  • Facility renovation costs to promote social distancing (partitions, shields, etc.)
  • Temporary structures to promote social distancing

If you experienced business interruption costs, these expenses qualify:

  • Mortgage interest of a business
  • Rent of existing business locations, equipment
  • Lease costs of vehicles
  • Employee Payroll, including employer payroll taxes, health, and retirement benefits. For sole proprietors and other persons whose compensation is derived from receiving a draw from the business, a deemed salary/wage will be allowed in an amount equal to the number of hours worked times the median hourly wage for all occupations in the State of Louisiana according to the most recent data published by the US. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Utilities
  • Supplies
  • Insurance
  • Inventory that is unable to be sold (up to $1,000).
  • Professional costs for filing Main street claims (not to exceed $500)

Granted, this is a lot of information and if you're still uncertain about what expenses qualify and don't qualify for the program. Here's a list of expenses that DO NOT meet the eligibility requirements.

  • Expenses associated with a personal residence, “home office expenses”.
  • Lost Profits
  • Meals and Entertainment costs
  • Lobbying
  • Donations, political or charitable
  • Club membership dues
  • Construction
  • Legal settlements
  • Damages that have been or will be covered by insurance
  • Costs that have been or will be reimbursed by any other federal or state program
  • Capital expenditures (more than $2,500) not COVID-19 related
  • Vehicle Purchases
  • Real Property purchases
  • Mortgage principal payment
  • Credit card payments that do not contain eligible expenses
  • Other non-mortgage debt

Remember the funding for this program is limited, so don't wait to apply. The program will cease the application process on November 4th. However, that doesn't mean that money will still be available by that late date.

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