Business Resources& Guidance
As the voice of the regional business community, 1A is diligently monitoring and evaluating the COVID-19 pandemic and stands ready to assist Acadiana’s employers, workforce, and the community at large, with response and recovery. We will continue to update this page as new information becomes available.
UPCOMING LIVE WEBINARS
Using Shopify to Launch Your
Wed, August 26
9:30 AM – 11:00 AM CDT
1A and business resource partners are hosting an ongoing webinar series featuring timely and relevant information designed to help businesses navigate the COVID-19 crisis. To browse previously recorded webinars, click on the link below.Watch On-Demand Webinars
ECONOMIC RECOVERY TOOLKIT
Check out 1A’s quick reference guides to key COVID-19 business assistance programs.Download
COVID-19 ECONOMIC INDICATORS
In order to best understand the economic impacts of COVID-19 and keep businesses informed, 1A put together the COVID-19 Economic Indicators Report.
Updated July 24Download
BUSINESS ASSISTANCE RESOURCES
GOV. EDWARDS: PHASE 2 MANDATORY MASKS, BARS CLOSED, 50-PERSON LIMIT UNTIL AUG. 28
On Saturday, July 11, Governor John Bel Edwards announced a mandatory mask requirement for Louisiana and ordered bars in the state closed to on-premises consumption, as the state experiences increasing spread of COVID-19. The Governor also limited indoor social gatherings like wedding receptions, class reunions and parties to 50 total people. With these additional restrictions, Louisiana remains in Phase Two of the Roadmap for a Resilient Louisiana.
Guidance for individual industries and businesses can be found at OpenSafely.la.gov.
Read more about the announcement HERE.
On Tuesday, Aug. 4, Governor John Bel Edwards announced he will keep current Phase 2 level restrictions in place for another two weeks, through at least Aug. 28.
Read more about the extension HERE.
WORKPLACE READINESS BEST PRACTICES
One Acadiana's Workplace Readiness Playbook
As our region starts to stabilize from the pandemic and restrictions begin to lift, it’s critical that businesses have a plan in place to bring employees back into the physical workplace. One Acadiana’s “Workplace Readiness Playbook” outlines some of the best thinking and practices on strategies to protect your employees, your workspace, and your community. Download the Playbook here.
Workplace Readiness Resources from Local Companies On May 12, 1A and partners hosted a webinar on “Getting Back to Work Safely” (watch webinar recording here). The webinar featured a panel of leaders from local companies, including Chad Abell (ACSW Architects), Tessa Brown (CCI Piping Systems), Neil Davis (Acadian Companies), and Brent Hebert (Dupré Logistics). They shared the following workplace readiness resources with participants:
- Dupré Logistics reference documents (including remote work policy, video messages, and workplace safety plan)
- Bain and Co. COVID-19 action plan for businesses
- Sample COVID-19 return-to-work plan
- “Going Back to Work” blog post on healthy buildings
- Acadiana Society for Human Resource Management (ASHRM) resources
ONE ACADIANA'S GUIDE TO "SAFE AT WORK"
1A released a user-friendly guide to the Louisiana business community’s “Safe at Work” framework – a starting point for businesses and elected officials to consider in developing reopening plans. View the framework here: OneAcadiana.org/SafeAtWork
CORONAVIRUS SUPPLIES FOR BUSINESSES
Click on the link below to download a list of 1A vendors providing PPE, sanitation supplies, thermographic cameras, contact tracing services, and more.
LAFAYETTE MAYOR-PRESIDENT GUILLORY ISSUES OPEN BUSINESS GUIDELINES
From the Mayor-President’s office:
“In Lafayette Parish, we announced the enactment of a 'Safe Shop' policy for the category of businesses that falls in the middle – neither expressly deemed essential nor expressly prohibited. Under the Governor’s existing orders, these 'gray area' businesses can operate as long as they limit the number of persons with access to their facilities and practice social distancing.
Effective Midnight tonight (4/16), we are authorizing these businesses to be open and to operate subject to the following conditions:
- Employees must wear masks
- Employees may not work if they have a fever or symptoms
- Customers must maintain a minimum of 6 feet of separation when shopping or standing in line
- Maximum of 25% occupancy, as determined by code and the Certificate of Occupancy issued by the Fire Marshal
- No congregating or groups loitering in or near businesses
- Customers who have fever or are symptomatic should be barred from the business
These rules are consistent with the Governor’s existing emergency orders and represent a manageable risk profile, consistent with social distancing guidelines.
This guidance may be withdrawn if there is a spike in either hospital admissions or reported cases of COVID.
Violating businesses may have their power shut off. Violations come with a $500 fine and/or up to 6 months in the parish jail. Businesses that do not have a mechanism in which to count customers and determine six feet between shoppers are encouraged to not open until they are able to do so.
If you have any questions on whether or not your business falls under this category, please call 311 and press option 2, Monday through Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.”
LOUISIANA LOAN PORTFOLIO GUARANTY PROGRAM (LPGP)
The Louisiana Loan Portfolio Guaranty Program (LPGP) will offer loans up to $100,000 to Louisiana small businesses with fewer than 100 employees that are impacted by COVID-19. A total loan pool of $50 million is available to eligible small businesses across Louisiana. Application will be accepted by banks until April 30, 2020.
Find loan details and a list of participating banks here.
The LPGP is a partnership of Louisiana Economic Development, the Louisiana Bankers Association, and the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) offer up to $2 million in assistance for a small business. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
View 1A’s guide to the EIDL here.
To apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), please visit: covid19relief.sba.gov.
For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or email email@example.com (link sends email).
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
Businesses can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. Businesses should consult with local lenders as to whether it is participating in the program. Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020. Download the Application Form.
The U.S. Chamber has released a Small Business Guide and Checklist to help guide business through the Paycheck Protection Program.
Click here to review U.S. Treasury’s guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program for borrowers and lenders.
Click here to view the Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application.
Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) Guidance for Employers
Information for Employers in Louisiana: If you are temporarily closing or reducing your hours of operations due to COVID-19, please contact the LWC to discuss how we can provide assistance and answer your questions about unemployment insurance and other programs and resources available.
- Contact us at EmployerServices@lwc.la.gov with your unemployment insurance questions. Be sure to provide your company’s name, a point of contact, telephone number and email address, as well as specifics on the assistance you are requesting. The Employer Call Center, 225-326-6999, is also available. http://www.laworks.net/PublicRelations/COVID_19_Information.asp
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Resources & Guidelines for Business
This page contains links to resources on business resilience and disaster recovery including resources for businesses to maintain operations during the coronavirus outbreak, how the U.S. Chamber and the business community are responding, and the economic impact of the crisis. https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/coronavirus
Applications opened on April 20, 2020 for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Save Small Business Fund, which will provide $5,000 grants to small business owners in the U.S. and its territories.
Ready.gov Business Continuity Plan
When business is disrupted, it can cost money. Lost revenues plus extra expenses means reduced profits. Insurance does not cover all costs and cannot replace customers that defect to the competition. A business continuity plan to continue business is essential. Development of a business continuity plan includes four steps:
- Conduct a business impact analysis to identify time-sensitive or critical business functions and processes and the resources that support them.
- Identify, document, and implement to recover critical business functions and processes.
- Organize a business continuity team and compile a business continuity plan to manage a business disruption.
- Conduct training for the business continuity team and testing and exercises to evaluate recovery strategies and the plan.
FEMA’s Emergency Preparedness Resources for Businesses
FEMA provides Emergency Preparedness Resources for Businesses across multiple areas.
LABI’s Recommendations & Resources
With the Coronavirus causing concern both nationally and within the state, LABI is sharing resources with its members in order to aid Louisiana's business community in their response.
Recommendations for Louisiana Businesses: As you look to pass accurate information to your workers and make important decisions regarding business operations, a good place to start is with the CDC's recommended business strategies, which include:
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
- Separate sick employees.
- Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees.
- Perform routine environmental cleaning.
- Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps.
Louisiana Economic Development’s Resources for Impacted Businesses
Louisiana Economic Development (LED) is currently monitoring the impact of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
LED is focusing on business continuity aimed at safeguarding economic, as well as physical, health. This information is in addition to that found on the Governor’s website; it will focus on useful resources and information for businesses and individuals. https://www.opportunitylouisiana.com/covid-19-assistance
Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center
By registering (approximately 10 to 15 minutes), you agree to allow business information you provide to be accessed and utilized by LA BEOC participants (including government agencies, academic partners and industry trade organizations) in the State’s disaster response and recovery efforts. Register online here: https://www.labeoc.org/login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2flabeoc%2fnonusers%2fuser_registration.aspx
Postlethwaite & Netterville (P&N) Coronavirus Resource Center
P&N is providing businesses with a dashboard of helpful resources including the most current information on federal legislation and IRS updates.
Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Coronavirus Resources
SHRM is providing best practices and resources for businesses including: how to prepare their workforce for the possibility of business closures, working from home, quarantines, and other outcomes of a disease outbreak. https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/Pages/communicable-diseases.aspx
EEOC Guidelines to the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws
What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws
WORKFORCE ASSISTANCE RESOURCES
LWC Guidance for Workers & Unemployment Eligibility Change
The Louisiana Workforce Commission has made changes to unemployment to help workers across the state whose jobs were impacted by the coronavirus. The changes mean more people may be eligible for unemployment insurance.
Those who may qualify include:
- Workers whose hours were reduced because of lack of work due to coronavirus
- Employees who are not being compensated despite their workplace temporarily closing
- Employees instructed not to go to work, and who are not being paid while at home
Those employees may file a claim online at www.louisianaworks.net/hire or by calling the claim center at 866-783-5567. You must answer "yes" to the question "are you filing for unemployment insurance benefits for reasons related to COVID-19 (coronavirus)?"
Special COVID-19 Blanket Employment Certificates for Minors to work in Louisiana
In response to the current COVID-19 event, pursuant to La. R.S. 23:184.1 the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) will begin issuing sixty (60) day blanket Employment Certificates for employers desiring to employ minors in the State of Louisiana. Employment Certificates issued due to this event shall expire sixty (60) days from the date of issuance. Upon expiration, employers will be required to obtain Employment Certificates as required pursuant to La. R.S. 23:181 et. seq.
Employers desiring to obtain an Employment Certificate pursuant to this memorandum must submit a completed and signed “Application to Employ Minors under 18” along with proof of age to firstname.lastname@example.org. The application can be downloaded from the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s website or by copying and pasting the following web address into your web browser: http://www.laworks.net/Downloads/WFD/MinorApplicationToEmployForm.pdf.
Incomplete applications will not be processed. Employers should allow three (3) days for processing. When the application has been approved, the employer will be notified via email from the LWC Office of Workforce Development. The names of those minors who are approved to work pursuant to the Employment Certificate will also be attached to the email. As indicated, blanket Employment Certificates are effective for a maximum of sixty (60) days. Blanket Employment Certificates are not transferable. Certificates are required to be kept at the minor’s work location.
Any questions or concerns regarding this memorandum should be directed to email@example.com.
Job Openings to Meet COVID-19 Needs
See which businesses are in need of additional workers to meet current demand: https://lafayette.org/helpwanted
SAFETY BEST PRACTICES FOR WORKPLACE & EMPLOYERS
COVID-19 INFORMATION & GENERAL SAFETY BEST PRACTICES
Stay tuned for future partner webinars.
LED COVID-19 HELP DESK
Louisiana Economic Development (LED) has launched a COVID-19 Help Desk.
Companies can call (833) 457-0531 weekdays,
8 a.m.- 8 p.m., or email LEDbiz@la.gov.
1A REGION PARISH CONTACTS
- O: 337-788-0177
- O: 337-363-1878
- O: 337-821-5534
- O: 337-296-4168
- O: 337-837-6001
- O: 337-266-9999
- O: 504-885-4262
- O: 337-593-1400
- O: 337-451-5862
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