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Monday, Sept. 21, 2020

La. Main Street Recovery

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Assisting in the recovery of small businesses

On June 12, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed Senate Bill 189, Act 311, enacting several COVID-19 relief funds, including the Louisiana Main Street Recovery Fund that awards grants up to $15,000 to many Louisiana small businesses to assist in their recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

The program, which sets aside $275 million in Louisiana, was established to help small business that did not receive assistance from other relief programs established as a result of the pandemic such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), or insurance reimbursements. However, it is important to note that businesses that received PPP or other federal aid are still eligible to apply. A duplication of benefits analysis will be performed on all applications, and final grant awards will be reduced by all other federal aid received.

In order to be eligible, the business must have suffered an interruption of business caused by forced or voluntary closures or restricted operations due to social distancing measures, decreased customer demand, cleaning or disinfection expenses, or providing personal protective equipment to customers or employees.

What are the eligibility requirements for small businesses?

• Were domiciled in Louisiana as of March 1, 2020.

• Suffered an interruption of business due to the aforementioned causes.

• At least 50% owned by one or more Louisiana residents.

• Filed Louisiana taxes in 2018 or 2019 or will file taxes in 2020 (if formed on or after Jan. 1, 2020).

• Had no more than 50 full-time employees as of March 1, 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.

• Non-profit organizations are ineligible for the program.

What expenses are eligible?

Costs incurred to meet public health requirements include:

• Signage to create social distancing measures.

• Cleaning or disinfecting areas due to COVID-19.

• Personal protective supplies for employees or customers.

• Equipment necessary for public health or to respond to changes in business environment.

• Rent for additional facilities or storage to allow for social distancing.

• Facility renovation costs to promote social distancing (partitions, shields, etc.).

• Temporary structures to promote social distancing.

Additional eligible expenses include business interruption costs such as mortgage interest, rent of property or equipment, employee payroll, utilities, supplies, insurance, inventory up to $1,000 and professional costs for filing Main Street claims (not to exceed $500).

All expenses must be reasonable and necessary and have a business purpose. Eligible expenses must be incurred within the program period window of March 1 – Nov. 4, 2020. However, it is important to note that no expenses incurred after the application date may be claimed for the program.

How do I apply?

Visit www.LouisianaMainStreet.com.

Aplicants should plan to have copies of invoices and proof of payment for all eligible expenses.

What is the program timeline?

July 28: The first day that Louisiana Main Street Recovery Program grant applications will be accepted.

August 17: The last day for priority to be given to applications that received no Federal Assistance.

September 25: The target date for the Louisiana Main Street Recovery Program to have awarded $40 million to minority, women, or veteran-owned applicants.

November 4: Louisiana Main Street Recovery Program Application Deadline.

As of Aug. 26, 2,468 applications have been awarded or paid with an average benefit of $7,718. There is still $255,952,091 in funding available.

Kathryn D. Kumpf, CPA, Heard, McElroy & Vestal, LLC, Tax Department. For more information, call 318-429-1525, kkumpf@hmvcpa.com, or www.hmvcpa.com.

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