Updates from Governor’s Call March 23rd. (UPDATED)

Attached are notes from the Governor’s briefing conducted by cabinet members for the ED community.

KEY POINTS:

  • All state agencies are operational, although offices are not open to the public.  Most staff is working remotely but adequately supporting services.
  • Ports are open.  There are no barriers to goods entering or leaving despite rumors to the contrary.

Governor’s Proclamation and Key Guidance:

Louisiana Department of Revenue

Louisiana Economic Development

  1. https://www.opportunitylouisiana.com/covid-19-assistance for daily updates
  2. The Governor is addressing the State at 7 p.m. on Louisiana Public Broadcasting.
  3. Working on a bridge loan program with the Louisiana Bankers Association; optimistic rollout by end of the week at the earliest.
  4. Louisiana Business Hotline 225 342 4321 (operational 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and https://www.OpportunityLa.com (click on COVID Banner); try to direct folks to this site instead of the GOHSEP Emergency Ops Center line as it overloading the system.

Department of Environmental Quality

Lt. Governor

  • Parks to stay open; monitoring impacts to travel and tourism

Issues and Opportunities:

  1. SBA website crashing – LED responded that Congressional delegation was briefed and steps are being taken to address.
  2. GNOINC – Michael Hecht reported that they are coordinating support for the Cares Act; also GNOINC is announcing today that they are creating  GNO Pivot – a website designed to help local companies shift to address needs (e.g. development of PPE and sanitizer) and match with end-users.
  3. One Acadiana – hosting two webinars for small businesses; continue with series to be put up on website video libraries; first two navigating disaster loans and partnering with GNOINC to support the bill in the Senate
  4. Louisiana Restaurant Association – encouraging the use of Open4Biz.com; lra.org – the site has critical information
  5. LABI – Conducted a call with SBA Personnel and will be posting guidance on loans.
  6. MidContinentOil – working on securing facemasks onsite at oil refineries to be repurposed for healthcare
  7. LOGA – Working with members to retrofit services to support the state, coordinating with LED and GOHSEP WebEOC.

FEDERAL UPDATE:

Congressional Action: Summary of pending Phase 3 legislation from the US Chamber:

Internal Revenue Service:

IRS Implements Tax Credits for Paid Leave Program: Small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees, under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act).  To see the IRS official announcement and guidance, click HERE.

Eligible employers are businesses and tax-exempt organizations with fewer than 500 employees that are required to provide emergency paid sick leave and emergency paid family and medical leave under the Act. Employers receive 100% reimbursement for paid leave pursuant to the Act.

  • Health insurance costs are also included in the credit.
  • Employers face no payroll tax liability.
  • Self-employed individuals receive an equivalent credit.

Employers with fewer than 50 employees are eligible for an exemption from the requirements to provide leave to care for a child whose school is closed, or child care is unavailable in cases where the viability of the business is threatened.

Federal Resources available from US Chamber of Commerce:

The U.S. Chamber continues to create, update, and evolve our various resources—including the Live Blog addressing daily developments as they occur; Coronavirus Response ToolkitSmall Business Guide, and the Coronavirus Workplace Flyer accessible at these links.

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