In The News

 

Reopening Louisiana’s Economy

Gov. Edwards Signs Order Moving Louisiana to Phase One

https://gov.louisiana.gov/news/PhaseOne

Major changes in the new order include expanding the types of businesses that can now operate and the specific types of businesses that are limited to 25 percent of occupancy and require strict social distancing.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Louisiana Department of Health have issued guidance for churches and different types of businesses to help them enter Phase One in a way that ensures they operate safely and at the maximum level allowed. Business owners and faith leaders can find information at OpenSafely.la.gov.

With the exception of gaming establishments and shopping malls, no church leader or business owner is required to register or to get approval of their opening plans in advance. Registering for the Open Safely site is not required to reopen, but it is encouraged as it will allow businesses and churches to get the latest information quickly.

Phase One guidance will allow essential businesses as defined by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), to remain open. Non-essential businesses (sometimes called “gray area” businesses) and churches may remain open at 25 percent of their occupancy. Further, churches and restaurants, cafes and coffee shops may continue to conduct outdoor service not limited by 25 percent of indoor capacity so long as strict social distancing is practiced. All business owners should read the order to understand which category their business falls into.

New types of businesses that may open beginning on May 15, with 25 percent occupancy limits, sanitation guidelines and spacing for physical distancing include:

·     Restaurants, cafes and coffee shops

·     Shopping malls

·     Gyms and fitness centers

·     Barber and beauty shops, and nail salons

·     Movie theaters

·     Racetracks (not open to spectators)

·     Museums, zoos, aquariums (no tactile exhibits)

·     Bars and breweries with LDH food permits

Casinos and video poker establishments may open on May 18, at 25 percent occupancy and with 50 percent of their gaming positions, spaced out to allow for social distancing and with enhanced sanitation. Gaming facilities must have a plan approved by the Gaming Control Board prior to reopening.

The following businesses remain closed: massage establishments and spas, tattoo parlors, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, trampoline parks, arcades, fairs, bars and breweries without LDH food permits, pool halls, bowling alleys, contact sports, children’s play centers, playgrounds, theme parks, adult entertainment venues, and other similar businesses.

In a separate order, the Governor extended legal deadlines that had previously been delayed in March. The order also suspended other provisions necessary to respond to this disaster. These deadlines, including the moratorium on evictions, will continue until June 5.

Click here to download the new order, which went into effect on the morning of Friday, May 15.

·     Business and faith leaders can visit or register at OpenSafely.la.gov to receive guidance and updates from the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Louisiana Department of Health.

·     For a guide of businesses that can be open at any given time, visit gov.louisiana.gov/page/can-this-business-open.

·     Members of the public can continue to get information from the Governor’s office by visiting Coronavirus.la.gov and by texting LACOVID to 67283.

·     Members of the public can continue to get information from the Department of Health by visiting ldh.la.gov/coronavirus.

·     People with general questions about COVID-19 in Louisiana can call 211.

PHASE ONE GUIDELINES

Outdoor Sports & Activities Guidelines

Business & Organizations Guidelines

Fitness Centers – Health Clubs Guidelines

Libraries Guidelines

Movie Theaters Guidelines

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White House Announces Path for States to Reopen

President Donald Trump announced that his administration has developed a framework for states to begin a gradual reopening of their economies. To download the White House’s complete set of guidelines, including information for employers, click HERE.
To visit the White House Reopening Website click HERE.
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Louisiana Workforce Commission Announces New Plan for Unemployment Claims

Today, the Louisiana Workforce Commission announced the payment of $561 million in benefits to more than 300,000 Louisianans since March 22.
LWC also issued new procedures for individuals to file their weekly certifications for Unemployment Compensation claims. These new guidelines were put in place due to LWC’s systems often being overloaded during the COVID-19 crisis. Starting Sunday, April 26, LWC will allow individuals to file their weekly certifications based on the last digit of their social security number. A breakdown is below:

Sunday: 0 – 3

Monday: 4 – 6

Tuesday: 7 – 9

Afterwards, all applicants can file Wednesday through Saturday. For more information about the new certification process, click HERE for LWC’s official announcement.
Employer COVID-19 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
TIP:

Be sure to answer YES, when asked if applying for reasons related to COVID-19. This will help YOU and businesses get relief.

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SBA Release PPP Forgiveness

Application and Guidance

The U.S. Small Business Administration issued much-awaited guidance, allowing borrowers to

claim forgiveness of their Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans. The SBA released on

Friday a PPP Loan Forgiveness Application which provides guidance on how to claim the single

most enticing aspect of the CARES Act’s borrowing initiative for small businesses and

self-employed individuals—loan forgiveness. The SBA’s Loan Forgiveness Application provides

detailed instructions for borrowers and the calculation of PPP loan forgiveness. The borrower is

expected to complete the application and submit it to their lender, who will ultimately be

responsible for assessing forgiveness. The process can be completed electronically.

Under the new procedures, a borrower must request the forgiveness of PPP loan proceeds by

filing SBA Form 3508, Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application. The

application has four components: (1) the PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculation Form; (2) PPP

Schedule A; (3) the PPP Schedule A Worksheet; and (4) an (optional) PPP Borrower Demographic

Information Form. Borrowers are required to submit items (1) and (2) to their lender.

For borrowers with PPP loans over $2 million, the SBA Form 3508 requires that a borrower who,

along with its affiliates, received aggregate PPP funds over $2 million, check a box alerting the

SBA to the size of the aggregate loan. This provision flags PPP loans that the Treasury

Department has already warned it will audit. Notably, however, the form’s instructions specifically

limit the obligation to check this flag-raising box to loans aggregated with affiliates “to the extent

required under SBA’s interim final rule on affiliates issued April 15, 2020.” That means that

borrowers will still have to interpret the meaning of those affiliation rules to determine whether to

check the box. Borrowers should seek legal guidance with respect to the affiliation rules where

they are potentially applicable.

However, the form does include several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the

process for borrowers, including:

Options for borrowers to calculate payroll costs using an “alternative payroll covered period” that aligns with borrowers’ regular payroll cycles

Flexibility to include eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses paid or incurred during the eight-week period after receiving their PPP loan

Step-by-step instructions on how to perform the calculations required by the CARES Act to confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness

Borrower-friendly implementation of statutory exemptions from loan forgiveness reduction based on rehiring by June 30

Addition of a new exemption from the loan forgiveness reduction for borrowers who have made a good-faith, written offer to rehire workers that was declined

SBA News Release and PPP Forgiveness Form

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The Louisiana Economic Development is backing a program to offer loans of up to $100,000 to small businesses with fewer than 100 employees that are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. These loans will not require payment for up to 180 days, will have a term of 1-5 years and a maximum interest rate of 3.5%.
The loan program, called the Loan Portfolio Guaranty Program, or LPGP, will have the funds dispersed through approved local banks in partnership with the Louisiana Bankers Association.
In Northwest Louisiana the LPGP lender is Citizens National Bank, N.A.: Daniel Keeton, [email protected], 318-698-8527
A complete list of the participating lending institutions is available on LED’s website.
Businesses are encouraged to discuss these loans directly with their local bank. Please note that these loans do not in any way conflict with any federal assistance offered through the US Small Business Administration.
For more information on the LPGP program from LED, click

BATON ROUGE, La. — Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Secretary Don Pierson of Louisiana Economic Development announced the opening of an LED 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.

Opportunity Louisiana

https://www.opportunitylouisiana.com/covid19

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Reopening Guidelines for Childcare

Centers, Summer Schools and Camps

As the State prepares to enter phase one of reopening, the Department of Education and the

Department of Health have outlined the next steps for the safe operation of childcare centers, as

well as summer camps, summer school, and summer extracurricular activities.

Childcare centers and entities offering summer programs for K-12 students must adhere to

certain protective measures set by the Office of Public Health (OPH), including:

Social distancing, achieved by maintaining small, static groups that minimally interact

with other groups;

Assessing and monitoring students for symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough,

shortness of breath, and/or sore throat; and

Practicing frequent environmental cleaning and hand-washing.

The guidance includes appropriate group sizes for each phase of reopening:

In Phase One, groups should be limited to 10 people including adults.

For childcare centers and entities offering summer school, camps, or extracurricular

activities, the occupancy rates currently approved for the facility apply. Adjusted

occupancy rates are not applicable, as these entities must adhere to strict social

distancing and other health and safety measures specific to childcare and summer school

or camp settings.

Read Childcare Center Guidelines>>>

Read Supplemental Childcare Center Guidelines>>>

Read K-12 Summer Camp, School and Activities Guidelines>>>

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Business Owners & Managers:

The City of Minden, The Greater Minden Chamber of Commerce, Webster Parish Convention & Visitors Bureau, The Minden Economic Development Department and Minden Main Street are concerned about you and your business as we are all navigating uncharted waters with COVID-19. Our goal is to understand and capture your business needs as we strive to help coordinate informational resources between our government and our local business community, share information and provide assistance to help maneuver through these times. We will use your survey responses in that effort. In addition, we want to be able to direct you to resources if they are available. Thank you for participating in this confidential survey, which should take 5-10 minutes to complete.
or
Click here to download PDF version to mail to our office.

To assist in situational reporting and planning, please take a few minutes to complete this brief survey.

Click here to take the survey now.

Thank you!

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To check the status of the Coronavirus Tax Relief Stimulus checks click here

TAX PAYMENT UPDATE

Louisiana Department of Revenue has followed the lead of the U.S. Treasury Department – tax payments for the state of Louisiana as well as the federal government are now due July 15, 2020. This applies to Louisiana individual, corporation, fiduciary and partnership income tax returns and payments.
This calculator shows how much money you could get if the stimulus bill passes
Over 80 percent of American adults will receive a payment, according to an initial estimate.Read in The Washington Post: https://apple.news/APYZikbcqSDaCSINsB7GeOA

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SouthStar Urgent Care of Minden and Springhill have COVID-19 testing available.  

Our protocol is as follows: If you have fever of 100.4 and respiratory symptoms, we will test you for strep and flu first, if those are negative and the provider deems it necessary we will then test for COVID-19. We will test you in your car if you request. The results are taking 3-7 business days.

If you need medical attention besides COVID-19 testing, we do have masks available to wear in the lobby, we also have a text system in place where you can sign in inside and wait in your car. When your room is ready, we will text you. We also have the Zip Pass App available.

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With the recent upgrade of COVID-19 to a worldwide pandemic, the Greater Minden Chamber has gathered resources for its members to help them navigate all the effects of this declaration.

“We at the Greater Minden Chamber encourage our members to take precautions to prevent the spread of this disease,” said Chamber President/CEO Jana Morgan.

In addition, we are offering the following links to assist members who may be economically affected by recent actions surrounding this outbreak.

The following links provide additional information concerning COVID-19

 

 COVID-19 Resources:

COVID-19 Resources

Guidance for Employers to Plan and Respond to the Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Business Continuity Plan

Businesses best practice

SBA info ~ Small Business Loan Information COVID-19 Disaster

https://www.opportunitylouisiana.com/covid19

The LWC website:

http://www.louisianaworks.net/hire

Governor’s Executive Order and latest press release:

https://gov.louisiana.gov/

https://gov.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/newsroom/detail/2411

https://gov.louisiana.gov/assets/ExecutiveOrders/27-JBE-2020-COVID-19.pdf

Coronavirus Legal & Business Hub resource for businesses, governments and non-profits.

https://www.butlersnow.com/coronavirus-hub/

Other Helpful Links

PPP LOANS Frequently Asked Questions

We want our members to know that we are here for them as we combat, and ultimately overcome, this challenge.

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SHARE YOUR BUSINESS IMPACT

The Louisiana Travel Association wants to keep our industry informed with resources, updates and developments during the COVID-19 event. As your business, event or workforce is impacted, we want to gather information about closures, cancellations and the economic challenges facing tourism-related businesses. This information will help us advocate on your behalf as we urge lawmakers to provide recovery resources.

Please complete this short survey to share how the Coronavirus is impacting your business by clicking the link below.

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Webster Parish Convention & Visitors Commission is taking the recommended precautions to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Please be aware that the Dorcheat Museum, Germantown Museum, City Art Works and Lake Bistineau State Park are closed to the public at this time.  As of right now, the trails and water access are open at Caney Lakes for recreation, however no additional RVs or campers will be granted overnight stays. There are also several public boat launches throughout the parish if you are interested in fishing or paddling. You can locate these on our website or in the Visit Webster Parish app. Our website has also recently been updated to feature which restaurants are offering delivery and curbside pick up.

WHAT’S YOUR CRAVING?

There are still ways to discover our good nature while practicing “social distancing”. Please give us a call if you have any questions.