TALLULAH, LA (07/29/20) “It’s basically almost shut me down, you know, I don’t have the customers that I had because nobody is wanting to spend money” Shiela Powers, Owner of Bella Rose Flowers & Gifts said.
As the economic impact from COVID-19 continues to be felt, some financial relief is coming to small businesses across the ArkLaMiss. The Main Street Recovery Program specializes in covering businesses with fewer than 50 full time employees. Law makers made multiple stops across the ArkLaMiss Wednesday to inform business owners about the program and answer questions about applying.
“It’s a $15,000 grant that does not have to be repaid.” Louisiana Senator Katrina Jackson said.
The grants will allow businesses to receive aid for rent, purchases made such as masks, hand sanitizer and technology, as well as lost inventory.
“We want to make sure that Northeast Louisiana gets its fair share. This gives them an opportunity to compete and we can’t afford to lose any businesses.” Louisiana Representative Francis Thompson said.
In Tallulah, Bella Rose Flowers & Gifts will be one of the many businesses that could be benefiting from the grants.
“They could help me pay my rent, my utilities, they can help me with my inventory loss because I had a big loss on inventory. Just kind of help me recover and try to stay open” Powers said.
She is thankful these grants are coming in just in time.
“I think it’s absolutely wonderful. you know, it’s, we needed it, and I think it’s really going to help us in the long run, and we really need more but we appreciate this, and everything we can get” Powers said.
Applications opened on July 28th and the grants are based on a first come, first serve basis, with 10,000 applications already in the system. The last day for priority given to applications that received no Federal Assistance is August 18th. In addition, $40,000,000 goes to Minority, Women and Veteran-owned applicants by September 26th.
There is a list of eligibility requirements, which are as follows:
- Were domiciled in Louisiana as of March 1st, 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 in 2020
- Had no more than 50 full-time employees as of March 1st, 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
The website can provide the following information as well:
- Business eligibility quiz
- Eligibility Requirements
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Key program dates
- List of documents to begin compiling to prepare to apply
- contact information
You can find more information and the application at www.louisianamainstreet.com. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.