State Treasurer John Schroder speaks to a group of small businessmen in St. Joseph. Other speakers, seated at the table, were St. Josehp Mayor Elvadus Fields and Distrct 34 Sen. Katrina Jackson. (Photo by Candice Head.)
Small businesses urged to apply for CARES grants
State Treasurer John Schroder and District. 34 Sen. Katrina Jackson were in St. Joseph last Wednesday to encourage Louisiana business owners to apply for up to $15,000 in grants from the CARES Act to help them recover from COVID-19 related expenses.
“Our small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and they’re hurting because of the financial impact of COVID-19,” Schroder said. “I encourage every small business owner to visit our website, take the eligibility quiz and apply if they meet the requirements. We don’t want our businesses to close. We want them to thrive.”
The Main Street Recovery Program’s new website is located at www.louisianamainstreet.com.
The application process began July 28.
“Businesses can apply for money to help cover COVID 19-related expenses.” Schroder said. “We expect this money to go fast so you need to be ready to apply.”
He added the website contains information and answers to commonly asked questions. Business owners can take a simple quiz to find out if their business is eligible for a grant.
“This is a great resource,” Schroder said.
A total of $275 million has been set aside for the Main Street Recovery Program.
For the first 21 days, grants will be given to businesses which didn’t receive federal assistance or insurance payments. Within 60 days, the program plans to award $40 million to businesses owned by veterans, minorities and women.
The program offers two types of grant options for small businesses.
QuickRelief offers an abbreviated application process and reduced documentation requirements, and will give grants of up to $5,000 to qualifying businesses which received $1,000 or less in federal funding or other assistance. Cost Reimbursement will give grants of up to $15,000 to qualifying businesses which can show eligible expenses related to the pandemic.
“It’s a $15,000 grant. You won’t have to pay it back,” Schroder said. “You have to be a small business with less than 50 people, have a location where people come and go. The legislature designed this to go after the small businesses - beauty shops, nail salons, places like that.”
Information that can be found on the website includes what documents will be needed to apply, an eligibility quiz, key program dates and information on how to receive email updates.
Jackson added the program is designed to quickly get funds out to the people who need it most and urged business owners to act quickly.
“This is probably, the most streamlined, short grant application I have ever seen, from any state or federal entity,” Jackson said. “It is very easy to apply to this grant, but it is on a first-come, first-served basis.”