WEST MONROE, LA (KTVE/KARD)– Louisiana cities are filled with small businesses that help keep money close to home and provide job opportunities for residents in the area. Without them, many say communities wouldn’t survive and the Louisiana Department of Treasury is making sure they make it out of the pandemic open for business.
“Well the first week after the shutdown, I lost 3 huge projects,” said Ryan Taylor, owner of Albritton Photography.
It’s no secret local mom and pop stores have struggled to stay afloat throughout the COVID 19 pandemic. These small businesses have adapted to help each other out, like taking family pictures if they buy a gift card from a local restaurant, but it hasn’t been enough.
“There are businesses that I relied upon that have closed down,” said Taylor.
Thanks to a program by the Louisiana Department of Treasury, small businesses can now rely on the government. The Louisiana Main Street Recovery Program will award grants to Louisiana small businesses to help with recovery from COVID-19 economic impacts.
“You can qualify for grants up to 15 thousand dollars. Whether you received any other federal aid like; PPP or SBA. As long as you are a business in Louisiana, operating in good faith, good standards, then you would qualify,” said John Schroder, State Treasurer.
Government officials say every small business should apply, they plan to give out more than 200 million dollars to the Louisiana Main Street Recovery Program. Businesses may be eligible if the business had interruptions, unplanned expenses, extraordinary costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, or the public health measures put in place by state or local government officials.
“I haven’t seen a program like this come along that helps small business. It’s worth it because you can get 15 thousand dollars you do not have to pay back. It’s not a loan. It is almost too good to be true,” said Schroder.
One business owner says after hearing the state treasure speak in West Monroe, she feels confident in the future of the business.
“I think that it is great that the government does have these opportunities available. I just really hope it is enough to keep us afloat because we don’t know how long this is going to continue. We can only do it so long,” said Taylor.
The last day to apply is November 4th. If you weren’t able to attend the meeting in West Monroe, you can join their Zoom meeting on Tuesdays. To see the requirements and how to apply, click here.