BRAC is regularly updating this page with relevant resources and information for businesses.  

Upcoming Business Webinars

To view recordings of past webinars, visit BRAC’s Vimeo page.

LSU Looking Forward

DAY: Tuesday, May 26
TIME: 1 – 2 p.m.

Sanitize and Disinfect: Cleanliness Best Practices for Reopening the Economy

DAY: Wednesday, May 27
TIME: 11 a.m. – Noon

Education and Economic Recovery: Critical Next Steps for a Resilient Capital Region

DAY: Friday, May 29
TIME: 11 a.m. – Noon

If you are interested in sponsoring BRAC’s Business Webinars contact Michelle Mahaffey at michelle.mahaffey@brac.org. 

Business Resources

Employer Resources

Safe at Work Framework

BRAC and the Louisiana business community released a framework for restarting the Louisiana economy in a responsible and safety-oriented manner. The “Safe at Work” framework focuses on issues for businesses and elected officials around the state to consider as reopening plans are made. The document is meant to serve as a start to the conversation for returning more employees and businesses to work, rather than serving as a final, prescriptive set of answers or solutions. Read the framework here. 

Open Safely Program

OpenSafely.la.gov allows business owners to register and receive up-to-the minute information on what phase their business is considered, what phase the state is in as Louisiana moves through phases of return and what social distancing and sanitation guidelines are required for their specific operation in each phase. Registration is not required, and documents are available to download without registering; however, registration allows businesses to receive information as it is updated.

State and Local Guidance

The state is now in Phase One of reopening. Click here to view the announcement from the Governor’s office and the specifics of the order. Most businesses, with a few exceptions, are allowed to reopen, limited to 25 percent of occupancy and strict social distancing. The Open Safely program has downloadable documents for businesses related to Phase One reopening. For BRAC’s guidance on occupancy limits, click here.

East Baton Rouge: The Restart BR initiative is focused on reopening business activity in EBR and setting a strategy for repositioning industries, businesses and the workforce in the post COVID-19 economy.

CISA’s Guidance on Identifying Critical Infrastructure

CISA’s guidance on identifying critical infrastructure can be found here. Businesses should not assume they are closed unless explicitly specified in the Governor’s order. BRAC’s guidance on addressing the grey area in the order may be found here.

If you are unsure about where your business falls, contact Louisiana Economic Development at LEDbiz@la.gov or via the toll-free hotline, (833) 457-0531. Businesses are also advised to contact the Governor’s office and consult with legal counsel to verify compliance with the orders.

Regional COVID Testing Sites

BRAC has assembled an interactive map of known test sites in the nine-parish region. Clicking on the individual sites reveals details including contact information and whether walk-ins are allowed or a doctor’s note is needed. As more testing sites open and are identified, the map will be updated. Click here to access the map.

BRAC Guide to Federal Provisions

BRAC published a comprehensive guide to the small business provisions of new federal legislation passed in the wake of COVID-19. Topics include loan programs established by the CARES Act and new guidelines set forth by the Families First Act, all with a focus on small business recovery. Intended as a one-stop resource for businesses, the guide will be updated as new information becomes available. View or download the guide here, last updated on May 4.

Additionally, BRAC produced a loan comparison chart to help businesses quickly understand the loan options available to them. It includes information on federal and state aid, broken into categories such as eligibility, loan uses and terms, application information, and more.

Louisiana Loan Portfolio Guaranty Program

The Louisiana Loan Portfolio Guaranty Program offers loans of up to $100,000 to Louisiana small businesses of fewer than 100 employees that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The loans require no payments for 180 days at interest rates of no more than 3.5 percent. The total loan pool is $50 million. FAQs, a list of participating banks, and additional information is available on LED’s website.

Lenders interested in participating should contact LED by calling Business Development Manager Kelly Raney at 225.342.0411 or by emailing her at LEDSmallbizloans@la.gov.

Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans are forgivable, which helps workers remain employed, and helps affected small businesses and our economy snap-back quicker after the crisis. The program application period opened on April 3. Borrowers are urged to apply immediately and for the full loan amount of $10 million, as only one loan per borrower will be allowed. For a quick guide on the differences between the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, click here.

  • The final application for borrowers may be found here.
  • Program overview information may be found here.
  • A non-exhaustive list of SBA-approved lenders in the Capital Region may be found in the dropdown below.

Click here for funding options and information from the Small Business Administration. For BRAC’s guidance on balancing the timing of federal aid programs like the Paycheck Protection Program and expanded unemployment benefits for employees, click here. For BRAC’s guidance on self-certification and the PPP, click here. 

Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Details on this program begin on page 7 of this  this overview from Congress. Louisiana businesses are eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million, with interest rates of 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for non-profits, and terms of up to 30 years. The loans provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome temporary loss of revenue. The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the situation around COVID-19. The loans are available to business with fewer than 500 employees. These loans are not forgivable. The application is available through the Small Business Administration. For detailed program information including loan eligibility, criteria, terms, and a step-by-step guide on how to apply, click here.

  • Eligibility: businesses with 500 employees or fewer, sole proprietorships, independent contractors, cooperatives and employee-owned businesses, tribal small businesses. Small businesses and agricultural coops that meet the size standard are eligible, as are most private non-profits of any size.

For a quick guide on the differences between the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, click here.

Click here for funding options and information from the Small Business Administration.

Economic Injury Disaster Recovery Loan Grants (Advances)

Details on this program begin on page 7 of this  this overview from Congress. These grants provide an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19 within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). To access the advance, you first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance. The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstance, and may be used to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments. Businesses may also roll the advance into a forgivable PPP loan (although that $10K will be deducted from the forgivable portion). Businesses may take both an EIDL and a PPP, but if they do they cannot use the two for the same purpose.

      • Eligibility: businesses with 500 employees or fewer, sole proprietorships, independent contractors, cooperatives and employee-owned businesses, tribal small businesses. Small businesses and agricultural coops that meet the size standard are eligible, as are most private non-profits of any size. Eligible businesses must have been in operation since January 31, 2020, when the public health crisis was announced.

Small Business Debt Relief for Existing SBA loans

The Small Business Administration (SBA) will defer all loan payments, including principal, interest and fees for six months. Eligible loans include SBA 7(a) (unless made under the PPP), 504, and microloans.

Click here for funding options and information from the Small Business Administration.

SBA-Approved Lenders in the Capital Region

Banks and Credit Unions in the Capital Region
Loans made under the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (part of the CARES Act) are made by banks, Credit Unions, and other private lenders. This list includes BRAC investor lenders and is not exhaustive. Contact your preferred lender directly.

The SBA is adding lenders daily here: https://www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection/find 

Anthem Bank & Trust
Multiple Locations

Bank of St. Francisville
(225) 635-6397

B1 Bank
Multiple Locations

Campus Federal Credit Union
Multiple Locations

Capital One
Multiple Locations

Chase Bank
Multiple Locations

Citizens Bank & Trust Co.
Multiple Locations

Cottonport Bank
6500 Corporate Blvd.
225-231-6606

EFCU  (partnered with Kabbage)
Multiple Locations

Guaranty Bank & Trust Co.
Multiple Locations

Gulf Coast Bank & Trust
Multiple Locations

HomeBank
Multiple Locations

IberiaBank
Multiple Locations

Investar Bank
Multiple Locations

LA Capitol FCU
Multiple Locations

LiftFund
(888) 215-2373

Neighbors FCU
Multiple Locations

Pelican State CU
Multiple Locations

Peoples Bank & Trust of Pointe Coupe
Multiple Locations

Plaquemine Bank & Trust
(225) 687-6388

Red River Bank
Current RRB Clients will Receive Priority
Multiple Locations

Regions Bank
Multiple Locations

Resource Bank
(225) 636-2422

State Bank & Trust Company
Multiple Locations

Whitney Bank
Multiple Locations

Purchase PPE

BRAC and Lyons Specialty Co. LLC have partnered to source a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Marketplace for the Capital Region’s business community. Click here to learn more. 

PPE Donations for Healthcare

Our region is experiencing a shortage of personal protection equipment (PPE) needed by front-line healthcare workers in their COVID-19 response. Of particular need are germicidal wipes, hand sanitizer, surgical masks, procedure masks, N95 masks, gowns and protective drapes, goggles, and latex and non-latex gloves of all sizes. Regional leaders are looking for business assistance in the following ways:

  1. Businesses with the above-mentioned items available to donate may do so Monday through Friday, 9 – 11 a.m., at 9455 Plank Road. Contact 225-763-4240 or PPEdonations@brhealthdistrict.com for further instruction. This is an initiative organized by the Baton Rouge Health District, and is currently primarily intended for business to business donations. Please make sure to only include clean, boxed, sealed, and unused containers.
  2. Manufacturers who are interested and able to transition their production to one of the needed items are encouraged to do so. Contact Donnie Miller at donnie@brac.org for guidance.
  3. Businesses or makers with technical abilities to innovate needed items through 3D printing should contact Stephen Loy with the Louisiana Tech Park at stephen@latechpark.com.

Hotline for Louisiana Businesses

Louisiana Economic Development has launched a hotline for Louisiana businesses. Companies can call (833) 457-0531 between 8:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m. or email LEDbiz@la.gov with their questions related to the impact of COVID-19.

Unemployment Insurance

The Louisiana Workforce Commission has unemployment insurance information for both employers and employees available at laworks.net.

Click here for an FAQ sheet for employers.

If a worker quits in the absence of the COVID-19 criteria, employers should immediately inform the Louisiana Workforce Commission via its Form 77 – Separation Notice. LWC is working on guidance related to employees refusing suitable work after the Stay at Home orders have ended. Those employees will be disqualified from all claims.

For BRAC’s guidance on balancing the timing of federal aid programs like the Paycheck Protection Program and expanded unemployment benefits for employees, click here.

COVID-19 Government Contracting

The State Procurement website maintains a regularly updated list of open and closed bids. To register as a vendor with the State of Louisiana, click here. During the registration process, you will be able to select all of the commodities that your company is able to provide. The State of Louisiana will be issuing Request for Quotes (RFQs) through the Louisiana Procurement and Contract Network (LaPAC), the on-line electronic bid posting and notification system, for the supplies/services currently needed. LaPAC will automatically send an e-mail notification to all of the vendors registered for that specific commodity. You will then be able to submit your pricing and availability electronically.

The Louisiana Procurement and Technical Assistance Center is available to assist businesses with government contracting. Businesses interested in competing for disaster response and recovery contracts should review this flier for steps to ensure that they are procurement ready. Businesses with existing government contracts seeking an equitable adjustment due to COVID-19 should take the following steps:

  • Communicate with your contracting officer (CO), by email for record-keeping, as soon as you think your situation has changed from when your initial contract was negotiated or bid on.
  • Partner with your CO to get authority to deliver late and try to negotiate a revised delivery schedule, extension, and/or revised costs. This may occur with subcontractor disruptions necessitating different subs or sourcing.
  • If you don’t get a response from your CO, email the agency small business representatives for help in getting your CO’s attention.
  • Keep good records including dates of conversations and names of people you spoke or emailed with.

Tax Filing Extensions

Both the federal and state governments have extended the filing deadline for taxes to July 15.  Click here for more information on federal deadlines, and here for state information. The state has also extended sales tax filing to May 20.

Employee Resources

The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (EFMLEA)

EFMLEA expands the existing federal medical leave program. Currently, the program provides for 12 weeks of job-protected leave without pay. The new legislation requires companies under 500 employees to provide 12 weeks of leave with the first 2 weeks unpaid, and the final 10 weeks paid at two-thirds of their regular pay for both part-time and full-time employees in the event an employee needs to care for a child because daycare or school is closed. 

Each employee is limited to $200/day to a $10,000 maximum. Employers will receive a tax credit on their portion of Social Security taxes capped at $200/day per employee and $10,000 overall per quarter. Importantly, he Secretary of Labor has the authority to exclude employers with fewer than 50 employees under certain circumstances. 

Click here for more information on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)

EPSLA applies to only companies with under 500 employees. This new mandate requires companies to pay full wages to employees for up to 2 weeks because of Coronavirus-related leave. The EPSLA applies to both full-time and part-time workers only if the employee is unable to work or telework when: 

  1. The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19. Generally, payments are capped at $511 per day and $5,110 per employee. 
  2. The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19. Generally, payments are capped at $511 per day and $5,110 per employee. 
  3. The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and needs to seek a medical diagnosis. Generally, payments are capped at $511 per day and $5,110 per employee. 
  4. The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order similar to those set forth in 1 and 2 above. Generally, payments are capped at $200 per day and $2,000 per employee. 
  5. The employee is caring for a son or daughter because school is closed, and the usual child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions. Generally, payments are capped at $200 per day and $2,000 per employee. 
  6. The employee experiences a substantially similar condition as specified by the government. Generally, payments are capped at $200 per day and $2,000 per employee. 

Like with the EFMLEA, employers will be eligible for tax credits on their Social Security taxes cap at $511/day for the first three types of events and 200/day for the last 3 types of events. 

Click here for more information on employee paid leave rights from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Unemployment Insurance

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the “CARES Act” not only increases the available weekly benefit – which in Louisiana is usually capped at about $250 – with a $600 federal supplement, it also broadens eligibility for unemployment benefits dramatically, lengthens the available benefit term, and waives both standard waiting periods and requirements to seek work.

Under CARES, the definition of eligible individuals has been extended beyond hourly and salaried employees to also include the self-employed, gig workers, and those with limited work history. Benefits are also available for those unable to work after contracting COVID-19, or those caring for a family member who contracted COVID-19.

For additional details on unemployment insurance, click here.

Eligible workers can apply for unemployment insurance through the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) at laworks.net.

Quick videos on unemployment insurance can be found from the LWC here, and from BRAC here.

Community Resources

Keep BR Shopping initiative for Retail

This free online business directory allows retailers greater visibility amid the crisis and provides shoppers access to interact with retailers in ways that follow health and safety protocols. Interested retailers can add their business to the site through the form on the home page.

Keep BR Serving initiative for Restaurants

This area-wide gift card campaign directs 30% of gift card purchases to service staff at participating restaurants. The Keep BR Serving sitehas a list of participating restaurants, and a registration form for restaurants interested in participating.

Louisiana 211

The Capital Area United Way’s 211 public resource directory houses employment, food, health, housing, re-entry, and transportation information, searchable by location. Residents may call 211 or text your zipcode to 898-211 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for resource assistance. 

Supporting Local Restaurants

While local restaurants are no longer able to serve dine-in guests, take-out and delivery options are still available. 225 Magazine put together a comprehensive list of restaurants providing those options. A “Tip it Forward” campaign has been launched to support the men and women of the service industry, LABI launched a #giftcardchallenge to encourage employers to sponsor gift cards for employees to local restaurants, and a Keep BR Serving initiative has been launched to encourage gift card purchases, with 20% of proceeds going back to service staff.

Employees First Program

Employers with employee(s) impacted by COVID-19 can set up a grant through the Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s (BRAF) Employees First program to provide financial assistance to those employees and receive beneficial tax deductions while doing so. 

BRAF Emergency Relief Fund

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation has established an emergency relief fund to help people in Louisiana who are affected by the current public health emergency. Businesses and individuals in a position to donate are encouraged to do so. 

Capital Area United Way COVID-19 Relief Fund

Capital Area United Way has established a COVID-19 Community Relief Fund to aid the residents and organizations of its 10-parish region. The fund will be used to assist in the recovery from the pandemic’s impact to the local area. The dollars raised will be used to support its 2-1-1 and Crisis Call operations, funding for COVID-19 expenses as well as the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) population who have been greatly impacted by business closures during this time.

Regional COVID Testing Sites

BRAC has assembled an interactive map of known test sites in the nine-parish region. Clicking on the individual sites reveals details including contact information and whether walk-ins are allowed or a doctor’s note is needed. As more testing sites open and are identified, the map will be updated. Click here to access the map.

BRAC Analysis

BRAC produces regular analysis on its blog to provide timely information for the business community. Topics include federal aid programs, considerations for reopening the economy, policy issues at the state level, and more. 

Summer camp: the foundation upon which our economy reopens?

As Baton Rouge Area residents begin the effort to reopen the economy, parents and guardians across the region are wondering two things: 1) where will my kids go when I go back to work, and 2) am I comfortable putting them in someone else’s care?

Reopening Information from Regional Parishes

As the lead economic developer for the Capital Region, BRAC has been collecting relevant parish-level information on local guidelines and information helpful to the community as businesses and local governments begin reopening.

Paycheck Protection Program Forgiveness

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has played a critical role in keeping businesses afloat during the Stay at Home order prompted by COVID-19. More than 57,000 Louisiana businesses had taken a PPP loan as of May 8, joining the millions of business owners across the country hoping the loan’s terms will be favorable in the long run.

Cheers to Getting Back to Business

BRAC joined a coalition of 33 partners today to celebrate the importance of getting back to work and being safe in our workplaces. The Back to Business BR campaign will air in print, on billboards, on TV and radio over the coming weeks, encouraging the community and the public that our economy and our businesses need a jolt of activity now more than ever.

Louisiana COVID-19 Survey Results

On April 30, the COVID-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public’s Policy Preferences Across States released the results of their 50-state survey, with responses broken down by state. The results from Louisiana show that residents are more supportive of restrictive actions taken by state government than the national average.

Return to Work: Setting a Reduced Occupancy Limit for Offices and Businesses

Governor John Bel Edwards announced Monday, May 11, that the Stay at Home order will be lifted and Louisiana will enter Phase One of the three-phase White House plan for economic recovery on Friday, May 15.

Best Practices for Reopening Retail Businesses

As we quickly approach May 15 and Phase 1 of reopening Louisiana’s economy, it’s important to make sure you have a plan to ensure your employees and customers feel safe. Taking a look at best practices from essential retail businesses that have remained open is a good place to start.

Imperfect Solutions: Unemployment Insurance, the Paycheck Protection Program, and What Employers Should Do

On April 20, BRAC released guidance on the complications the expanded federal pandemic unemployment insurance (PUI) caused for businesses considering the use of their Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

Applications Open for Local Distribution of CARES Act Funds

The CARES Act funds application is now open on the City of Baton Rouge’s website. The funding is available to organizations that support programs and projects that prevent, prepare for and respond to the effects of the coronavirus.

Checking in on the Paycheck Protection Program: How Long will the New Funding Last?

Funding for the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is going quickly, and it is imperative that those companies that wish to take advantage of the PPP do so as soon as possible. The PPP has been funded in two tranches. Here’s how the two tranches compare so far.

Exposure Liability: The Newest Legal Threat

To restart the economy, businesses must reopen. To do so safely, business owners across the world and here in the Capital Region are scouring guidance from health and safety authorities. They are making plans, buying supplies, and adopting policies for basic operation.

Return to Work: Reopening Schools

As the business community and state leaders think through what it will take to reopen the Louisiana economy, one thing is clear: any return to work must come together with a return to school and childcare.

Self-Certification and the Paycheck Protection Program: What Does “Necessary” Mean?

Big name U.S. companies have been in the news recently for accessing (and returning) funding from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). These companies, some of them publicly traded, some of them having revenue in the hundreds of millions, and some of them having millions of dollars in cash-on-hand, technically met the qualifications for the loans.

Legislative Response to COVID-19: What legal or regulatory changes does your business need to support reopening and recovery?

With the Stay at Home Order set to end on April 30 it is time to start thinking about what comes next. Reopening businesses and the economy will come with many challenges, some of which BRAC has outlined in its Safe-at-Work Framework, some of which haven’t been anticipated yet.

Next Step by Congress: Replenished Federal Funding

On April 23 Congress passed a re-funding of the CARES Act, providing additional money for hugely sought aid by businesses nationwide.

Not Essential, but Not Ordered to Close: Addressing the Grey Area in the Stay at Home Order

The Governor’s Stay at Home Order set guardrails for business operation. Essential businesses are open. Salons, entertainment venues, and a handful of other businesses are closed. But what about everything else?

The Complicated Timing of Federal Loan Decisions: Unemployment Insurance, Paycheck Protection Program, and the Stay-at-Home Order

The federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a $349 billion part of the CARES Act which ran out of funding on April 15, was designed to keep people employed by small businesses during the economic downfall caused by COVID-19.

Open in a Shutdown: Tips for Safely Operating Retail

Does your company rely on serving customers at your place of business? While the stay-at-home order remains in strict effect as directed by Governor Edwards, certain retail shops may continue limited operations under specific guidelines.

Guidance for Businesses on Inviting Employees Back to Work After COVID-19 Diagnosis

As COVID-19 makes its way through the Baton Rouge Area, individuals in essential industries who have contracted and recovered from COVID-19 are hoping to return to work. Employers in these industries are looking to protect employees who have not contracted the virus from increased risk.

CARES Act Introduces Major Changes to Unemployment Insurance

The significant $600 weekly federal supplement to unemployment insurance benefits should reach states beginning the week of April 6, according to Fox Business. This and other key changes to unemployment insurance have been made in response to the unprecedented economic hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

5 Actions to Take if You Are Applying for a Paycheck Protection Program Loan

Check out a few actions to take if you’re planning to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan.

Small Business Loan Comparisons

BRAC and one of our partners in supporting small businesses, NexusLA, developed a side-by-side comparison that is (hopefully!) helpful in equating the pros and cons of each small business loan option.

Small Business Provisions in the CARES Act

Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) on March 27. The historic stimulus package includes important provisions for small businesses, outlined in this post.

Ask Congress to Pass the CARES Act

Small businesses are bearing the brunt of the Coronavirus’ effect on the economy. The Senate finally looks to be in a position to pass the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) either later today or tomorrow, providing much-needed relief for businesses across the U.S.

Federal Support in the Wake of the Coronavirus

Businesses across Louisiana are being impacted by the Coronavirus, and those for which business must be transacted face-to-face are the hardest hit. Service and other key members of our state’s workforce and their employers are looking for relief from the economic gut-punch the Coronavirus is delivering.

Indicator Dashboard

As part of BRAC’s business recovery priorities, we will be producing and distributing a weekly economic indicator dashboard to examine and assess the impact of COVID-19 on the regional economy. The indicator dashboard takes into account fuel sales, oil prices, hotel occupancy rates, enplanements, employment, and more, to illustrate the economy’s current state, and keep businesses informed on when it begins to steady and rebound.

If you are interested in sponsoring BRAC’s Business Webinars contact Michelle Mahaffey at michelle.mahaffey@brac.org. 

Job Openings – BR Works

The shifting jobs landscape caused by COVID-19 has resulted in quick workforce changes. Some companies are forced to turn to layoffs and furloughs, while other industry sectors are increasing hiring to meet growing demand. BR Works was established to help laid off community members find new opportunities.

Purchase PPE

BRAC and Lyons Specialty Co. LLC have partnered to source a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Marketplace for the Capital Region’s business community. PPE purchased through the Marketplace is available for hands-free, next day pickup in Port Allen. 

Business Impact Survey

BRAC has released a business survey to help evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on local businesses and the regional economy. 

News, BRAC COVID Briefs

  • All
  • COVID-19 Briefs
  • COVID-19 News

BRAC’s May 22 COVID-19 Brief: A map of regional COVID testing sites

Rigorous COVID-19 testing has been a key component of slowing the spread of the virus, as noted by both private health care organizations and government agencies. Just a few short weeks ago, tests for both the virus and antibodies were in short supply, but that has rapidly changed.

BRAC’s May 21 COVID-19 Brief: Reopening summer camps

As Baton Rouge Area residents begin the effort to reopen the economy, parents and guardians across the region are wondering two things: 1) where will my kids go when I go back to work, and 2) am I comfortable putting them in someone else’s care?

BRAC’s May 20 COVID-19 Brief: Reopening information from regional parishes

As the lead economic developer for the Capital Region, BRAC has been collecting relevant parish-level information on local guidelines and standards to assist businesses in navigating the reopening process.

BRAC’s May 19 COVID-19 Brief: BRAC’s Weekly Economic Indicator Dashboard

BRAC is producing a weekly economic indicator dashboard as part of our business recovery priorities.

BRAC Releases Weekly COVID-19 Economic Indicator Dashboard for Capital Region

Baton Rouge, La. (May 19, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released its weekly COVID-19 economic indicator dashboard that examines and assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the regional economy. The weekly dashboard is available online at brac.org/recovery.

BRAC’s May 18 COVID-19 Brief: PPP Forgiveness Application now Available

The SBA has released the application for the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness and instructions for borrowers.

BRAC’s May 15 COVID-19 Brief: Let’s get back to business

BRAC joined a coalition of 33 partners today to celebrate the importance of getting back to work and being safe in our workplaces.

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome Announces Reopening of City-Parish Buildings

BATON ROUGE, La. – May 15, 2020 – Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced Friday all City-Parish buildings—including City Hall and all community centers—will be open to the public with strict protective and physical distancing guidelines effective Wednesday, May 20.

BRAC’s May 14 COVID-19 Brief: Using data to guide recovery

As the state and region enter Phase One of reopening, governmental officials and community leaders must make tough choices as to how to restart the economy – choices that should be rooted in data.

BRAC’s May 13 COVID-19 Brief: Open Safely

With the state poised to lift the Stay at Home order on Friday, the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Louisiana Department of Health has activated a web portal to assist businesses with safely resuming operation.

BRAC Releases Weekly COVID-19 Indicator Dashboard for Capital Region

Baton Rouge, La. (May 12, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released its weekly COVID-19 economic indicator dashboard that examines and assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the regional economy. The weekly dashboard is available online at brac.org/recovery. 

BRAC’s May 12 COVID-19 Brief: BRAC’s Weekly Economic Indicator Dashboard

BRAC is producing a weekly economic indicator dashboard as part of our business recovery priorities.

BRAC’s May 11 COVID-19 Brief: Guidance on occupancy limits

Today, Governor John Bel Edwards announced that the current Stay at Home order will be lifted on May 15 and that businesses, with a few exceptions, will be allowed to reopen at 25 percent of their State Fire Marshal capacity.

BRAC Releases Statement on Phase One Reopening

Baton Rouge, La. (May 11, 2020) –Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) President and CEO Adam Knapp issued the following statement today in response to the Stay at Home order being lifted on May 15.

BRAC Releases Statement on Phase One Reopening

Baton Rouge, La. (May 11, 2020) –Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) President and CEO Adam Knapp issued the following statement today in response to the Stay at Home order being lifted on May 15:

BRAC’s May 8 COVID-19 Brief: Maximizing PPP Forgiveness Amid Rehiring Questions

For Louisiana, the federal pandemic unemployment insurance is especially generous, and the incentive it creates is causing headaches for employers looking to bring employees back to work using Paycheck Protection Program loans.

BRAC’s May 7 COVID-19 Brief: Introducing the PPE Marketplace

BRAC has partnered with Lyons Specialty Company, LLC to launch a PPE Marketplace to source and supply PPE at competitive rates to the Capital Region business community.

BRAC Announces PPE Marketplace for Regional Businesses to Purchase Safety Gear

Baton Rouge, La. (May 7, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today announced a purchasing collaborative with Lyons Specialty Company, LLC to source and supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at competitive rates to the Capital Region business community.

Statement by Mayor Broome on City-Parish Finances in the Coronavirus Pandemic

Baton Rouge – May 7, 2020 – While the health and well-being of our citizens and employees is at the forefront of our efforts at this moment, it is essential that we take steps to manage our financial affairs as well. Our Plan of Government requires the Mayor-President to make adjustments as needed to keep our City-Parish Annual Operating Budget in balance.

#MaskUpEBR Drive-Thru Mask Give Away

Baton Rouge, La. – May 6, 2020 – The Division of Human Development and Services, Office of Social Services and EBRP Head Start Programs are pleased to announce a free mask distribution on Friday, May 8, 2020 as a part of Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s “Mask Up EBR” campaign. East Baton Rouge Parish residents can pick up the masks from 10:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the locations listed below. This is a drive-thru distribution and everyone must remain inside their vehicles. Masks will be distributed on a first come, first served basis while supplies last.

BRAC’s May 6 COVID-19 Brief: How long will the new PPP funding last?

The second tranche of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is on pace to be exhausted this week, with $175 billion, or 56%, accessed as of May 3.

BRAC’s May 5 COVID-19 Brief: BRAC’s Weekly Economic Indicator Dashboard

BRAC is producing a weekly economic indicator dashboard as part of our business recovery priorities. The dashboard examines and assesses the impact of COVID-19 on the regional economy, taking into account a number of data points to illustrate the economy’s current state, and to keep businesses informed until it begins to steady and as it rebounds.

BRAC’s May 4 COVID-19 Brief: Exposure Liability: The Newest Legal Threat

The Louisiana Legislature is returning to the Capitol today to continue its 2020 legislative session. One of the most pressing issues that BRAC will focus on during this or any special session is limiting COVID-19-related liability for businesses.

Open Safely Program Activates Across Louisiana

The Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office, under the direction of Governor John Bel Edwards, and in collaboration with the Louisiana Department of Health, has activated a new, web-based program to assist businesses and religious organizations with safely resuming operations as the public health emergency due to COVID-19 continues.

Mayor Broome Hosts Education Virtual Town Hall

Baton Rouge, La. – May 1, 2020 – Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome will hold a virtual Town Hall meeting on May 5, 2020, at 1 p.m. that will feature education leaders from the Baton Rouge community.

Mayor Broome and Senator Barrow Announce Walmart Drive-Thru Testing Site Near Cortana Mall

Baton Rouge, LA – May 1, 2020 – Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and Senator Regina Barrow announced Friday a COVID-19 drive-thru testing site will open Monday near Cortana Mall in the Walmart Parking Lot to serve East Baton Rouge Parish. The site is supported by Walmart, Quest Diagnostics and state and local officials. The site will test those who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and all health care providers and first responders.

BRAC’s May 1 COVID-19 Brief: LSU scholarship for displaced workers

LSU Online & Continuing Education is offering a Career Change Scholarship to those displaced from their jobs due to COVID-19.

BRAC’s April 30 COVID-19 Brief: Return to work: Reopening schools

As the business community and state leaders think through what it will take to reopen the Louisiana economy, one thing is clear: any return to work must come together with a return to school and childcare.

BRAC’s April 24 COVID-19 Brief: Self-Certification and the PPP

Big name U.S. companies have been in the news recently for accessing (and returning) funding from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which the SBA has determined flaunts Congressional intent of the program: to aid small businesses in weathering the intense economic downturn caused by COVID-19’s Stay at Home orders.

Applications Open for Local Disbursement of CARES Act Funds

Baton Rouge, La. – April 29, 2020 – Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, in conjunction with Build Baton Rouge, is seeking applications from area community and non-profit organizations for $3.2 million in federal funding provided to the City-Parish through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The funding is available to organizations for programs and projects that prevent, prepare for and respond to the effects of the coronavirus.

BRAC Releases Weekly COVID-19 Indicator Dashboard for Capital Region

Baton Rouge, La. (April 28, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released its weekly COVID-19 dashboard that examines and assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the regional economy. The weekly dashboard is available online at brac.org/recovery.

BRAC’s April 28 COVID-19 Brief: BRAC’s Weekly Economic Indicator Dashboard

BRAC is producing a weekly economic indicator dashboard as part of our business recovery priorities.

Suze Orman Joins Mayor Broome for the Financial Literacy Online Workshop Series

BATON ROUGE, La. — April 28, 2020 — Financial advisor Suze Orman will serve as a special guest contributor for the final installment of Mayor Broome’s Financial Literacy Online Workshop series this Thursday.

BRAC’s April 27 COVID-19 Brief: BRAC Releases Statement on Extension of Stay at Home Order

Returning businesses safely to operation remains an urgent priority. Under the extension of the Stay at Home Order to May 15, many businesses are able to, and should, safely and smartly return to commerce.

BRAC Releases Statement on Extension of Stay at Home Order

Baton Rouge, La. (April 27, 2020) –Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) President and CEO Adam Knapp issued a statement today in response to the Stay at Home order being extended until May 15.

BRAC’s April 24 COVID-19 Brief: What legal or regulatory changes does your business need?

With the current Stay at Home Order set to expire on April 30, it’s time to start thinking about what comes next and what legal or regulatory changes will be necessary to support the reopening and recovery of the economy.

Mayor Broome Announces Raising Cane’s Purchase of $50,000 in Gift Cards in Support of “Keep BR Serving” Initiative

Baton Rouge, La. – April 24, 2020 – On behalf of the “Keep BR Serving” initiative, the Office of the Mayor-President would like to recognize Raising Cane’s for their incredible bulk purchase of $50,000 in gift cards in support of the local restaurant community. 

Congress Replenishes Critical Business Aid Programs

Baton Rouge, La. (April 23, 2020) – Congress today passed $470 billion in supplemental funding for programs within the CARES Act, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Both programs are highly sought by businesses across the country and saw initial funding allocations depleted within two weeks of applications being made available to businesses. With the House of Representatives’ approval, the legislation now goes to President Trump.

BRAC’s April 23 COVID-19 Brief: Addressing the grey area in the Stay at Home Order

The Governor’s Stay at Home Order set guardrails for business operation. Essential businesses are open. Salons, entertainment venues, and a handful of other businesses are closed. But what about everything else?

Mayor Broome Announces Distribution of Donated Cloth Masks

Baton Rouge, La. – April 23, 2020 – East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome is distributing donated cloth masks to several organizations that are servicing vulnerable and in-need populations, as a means to combat the spread of the coronavirus in the Capital Region.

Mayor Broome Announces Opening of Second MOHSEP Drive-Thru Testing Site

Baton Rouge, La. – April 22, 2020 – Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced Wednesday the opening of a second Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (MOHSEP) COVID-19 Community Testing Site at Our Lady of the Lake North Campus, 5439 Airline Highway. The site will operate Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. as supplies allow. The schedule may be adjusted based on demand.

Louisiana Business Community Releases Full Framework for “Safe at Work” Reopening of Economy

Baton Rouge, LA. (April 22, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released a framework for restarting the Louisiana economy in a responsible and safety-oriented manner. The “Safe at Work” framework builds upon an executive summary released last week, and focuses on issues for businesses and elected officials around the state to consider as reopening plans are made. The framework may be downloaded directly here, and is available at brac.org/recovery.

BRAC’s April 22 COVID-19 Brief: The full framework on restarting Louisiana’s economy

Last week we released the executive summary on a preliminary framework to restart the state’s economy gradually and in a safety-oriented manner. Today we are releasing the full “Safe at Work” framework.

Louisiana Business Community Releases Full Framework for “Safe at Work” Reopening of Economy

Baton Rouge, LA. (April 22, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released a framework for restarting the Louisiana economy in a responsible and safety-oriented manner.

BRAC Releases Weekly COVID-19 Indicator Dashboard for Capital Region

Baton Rouge, La. (April 21, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released its weekly COVID-19 dashboard that examines and assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the regional economy. The weekly dashboard is available online at brac.org/recovery.

BRAC’s April 21 COVID-19 Brief: BRAC’s Weekly Economic Indicator Dashboard

As part of BRAC’s business recovery priorities, we are producing and distributing a weekly economic indicator dashboard to examine and assess the impact of COVID-19 on the regional economy.

BRAC’s April 20 COVID-19 Brief: Balancing the PPP and Unemployment Insurance

The complicated web of COVID-19 federal aid legislation has left many business owners confused as to which programs to pursue, in what way to use them, and when.

BRAC’s April 17 COVID-19 Brief: Preliminary framework for reopening the economy

As the April 30 expiration of the current Stay-at-Home order approaches, BRAC – in partnership with executives across a broad array of industries and business organizations from around the state – is releasing a preliminary framework for Louisiana’s economic recovery.

Mayor Broome Announces $50,000 Donation to Minority-Owned Restaurants

Baton Rouge, La. – April 17, 2020 – Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced a combined corporate contribution of $50,000 Thursday to 19 minority-owned businesses in the East Baton Rouge Parish.

BRAC’s April 16 COVID-19 Brief: Tips for Safely Operating Retail

Retail stores, with a few exceptions, are allowed to operate under Governor Edwards’ stay-at-home order, as retail is considered a “critical sector” by CISA.

“Banking on BR” to Benefit Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank

BATON ROUGE, La. — The Guaranty Foundation and GMFS Mortgage announce “Banking on BR,” a new initiative to support the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. The COVID-19 pandemic has touched all of our lives and all parts of the Baton Rouge community. The less fortunate in the Greater Baton Rouge area are among the most affected. That’s why The Guaranty Foundation and GMFS Mortgage are matching donations dollar for dollar up to $25,000 each for a total match of up to $50,000. These companies are now asking the Baton Rouge community to join them in “Banking On BR” and supporting their neighbors by donating to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.

BRAC Publishes Comprehensive COVID-19 Federal Provisions Resource for Businesses

Baton Rouge, LA. (April 13, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today published a comprehensive guide to the small business provisions of new federal legislation passed in the wake of COVID-19. Topics include loan programs established by the CARES Act and new guidelines set forth by the Families First Act, all with a focus on small business recovery. Intended as a one-stop resource for businesses, the guide will be updated as new information becomes available. Visit brac.org/recovery to view the guide. 

BRAC’s April 15 COVID-19 Brief: How to bring essential employees back to work after COVID-19 diagnosis

Businesses in essential industries operating in compliance with Governor Edwards’ Stay-at-Home Order have voiced confusion around the proper protocol in bringing employees who have contracted and recovered from COVID-19 back to the workplace.

BRAC’s April 14 COVID-19 Brief: BRAC’s Weekly Economic Indicator Dashboard

As part of BRAC’s business recovery priorities, we will be producing and distributing a weekly economic indicator dashboard to examine and assess the impact of COVID-19 on the regional economy.

BRAC’s April 13 COVID-19 Brief: Downloadable booklet on small biz federal aid

BRAC has developed a comprehensive guide to assist small businesses through concise analysis and direct resources.

BRAC’s April 9 COVID-19 Brief: Congressman Graves to talk Federal Benefits on Tuesday

Join us on April 14 at 10 a.m. for a free BRAC Business Webinar Q&A Session with Congressman Garret Graves on the federal response to COVID-19 and what to expect in the coming weeks.

500 Surgical Gowns to be Delivered through Local Joint Initiative

Baton Rouge, La. (April 9, 2020) – In response to the regional shortage of personal protection equipment (PPE) needed by front-line healthcare workers in their COVID-19 response, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) is connecting regional manufacturers, businesses and nonprofits with the resources, equipment, and volunteers to locally source, produce, and deliver in-demand items.

BRAC’s April 8 COVID-19 Brief: Unemployment insurance benefits are coming

Key changes have been made to unemployment insurance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic at the federal and state levels. The CARES Act includes a $600 weekly federal supplement – in addition to Louisiana’s weekly allocation of up to $250 – that is expected to reach states beginning this week.

BRAC’s April 7 COVID-19 Brief: BRAC’s Weekly Economic Indicator Dashboard

As part of BRAC’s business recovery priorities, we will be producing and distributing a weekly economic indicator dashboard to examine and assess the impact of COVID-19 on the regional economy.

BRAC’s April 6 COVID-19 Brief: The Latest on the Paycheck Protection Program

Last week the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), officially began accepting applications from small businesses and sole proprietorships. The roll-out from the feds was rocky, with last-minute adjustments to guidance that left local lenders working around the clock to prepare.

Small Business Administration Issues Interim Final Guidance on Paycheck Protection Program

Baton Rouge, La. (April 3, 2020) – The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application period opened today, just hours after the Small Business Administration released Interim Final Guidance for the Program, providing critical guidance to lenders and borrowers. Among the guidance was a change in the anticipated interest rate for PPP loans. Previous interim guidance set the loans at a fixed 0.5%; the interim final guidance sets the interest rate at 1%.

BRAC’s April 3 COVID-19 Brief: Details on the Louisiana Loan Portfolio Guaranty Program

On Wednesday the state announced the Louisiana Loan Portfolio Guaranty Program, which will offer loans of up to $100,000 to Louisiana small businesses of fewer than 100 employees that are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

BRAC’s April 2 COVID-19 Brief: Prepare your application for the Paycheck Protection Program

On Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury issued guidance and a template application for businesses interested in assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), part of the CARES Act that was signed into law on March 27.

Gov. Edwards: State-Led Program To Offer COVID-19 Small Business Help

BATON ROUGE, La. — Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced a new Louisiana Loan Portfolio Guaranty Program, which will offer loans of up to $100,000 to Louisiana small businesses of fewer than 100 employees that are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. To help Main Street and rural businesses sustain operations, the loans will require no payments for 180 days and carry below-market interest rates of no more than 3.5 percent.

Treasury Issues Guidance, Application on Paycheck Protection Program

Baton Rouge, La. (April 1, 2020) – Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. Treasury issued guidance and the application for businesses interested in assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), part of the CARES Act that was signed into law on March 27, 2020. BRAC encourages businesses to fill out the application now, in preparation for submission to an SBA-approved lender starting April 3.

BRAC April 1 COVID-19 Brief: Join us at 9 a.m. for a Q&A with Sen. Bill Cassidy

Today at 9 a.m., we are hosting a webinar with Senator Bill Cassidy and Louisiana’s District Director of the SBA Mike Ricks for a Q&A session on the new federal recovery legislation, the CARES Act.

BRAC Releases COVID-19 Indicator Dashboard for Capital Region

Baton Rouge, La. (March 31, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released a COVID-19 dashboard that examines and assesses the impact of the novel corona virus on the regional economy. The

BRAC March 31 COVID-19 Brief: Indicator Dashboard for the Capital Region

As part of BRAC’s business recovery priorities, we will be producing and distributing a weekly economic indicator dashboard to examine and assess the impact of COVID-19 on the regional economy.

BRAC’s March 30 COVID-19 Brief: 5 Tips for Small Business Owners

Check out these tips for small business owners navigating COVID-19.

BRAC’s March 27 COVID-19 Brief: Here’s what’s in the CARES Act for Small Businesses

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act has passed. The historic stimulus package includes important provisions for small businesses.

LED Opens COVID-19 Help Desk for Louisiana Businesses

BATON ROUGE, La. — Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Secretary Don Pierson of Louisiana Economic Development announced the opening of an LED help desk that provides email and hotline support for Louisiana businesses impacted by COVID-19.

BRAC’s March 26 COVID-19 Brief: How businesses can assist PPE shortage

Our region is experiencing a shortage of personal protection equipment (PPE) needed by front-line healthcare workers in their COVID-19 response.

BRAC Pivots to Respond to COVID-19 Pandemic

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today announced it has formally paused its 2020 strategic goals and retooled its priorities to support the regional business community through the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery period.

BRAC’s March 25 COVID-19 Brief: Workforce Shifts: Needed and Displaced Workers

The shifting jobs landscape caused by COVID-19 has resulted in quick workforce changes. While some companies are forced to turn to layoffs and furloughs, some other industry sectors are needing to quickly ramp up hiring to meet increased demand.

ICYMI: Gov. Edwards’ COVID-19 Major Disaster Declaration Request Approved by President Trump

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that his request for a statewide Major Disaster Declaration in response to the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana was approved by President Donald Trump last night. The declaration allows the federal government to provide additional support for state and local agencies in dealing with this growing public health emergency.

BRAC’s March 24 COVID-19 Brief: Ask Congress to pass the CARES Act

Small businesses are bearing the brunt of the Coronavirus’ effect on the economy. The Senate finally looks to be in a position to pass the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) either later today or tomorrow, providing much-needed relief for businesses across the U.S.

BRAC’s March 23 COVID-19 Brief: What is an “Essential Industry?”

Yesterday, Governor John Bel Edwards issued a Stay-at-Home order for the state of Louisiana, limiting those that will go to work every day to Louisiana citizens in “essential industries” only. But what exactly is an essential industry?

Louisiana Opens Child Care Assistance Program To Critical Personnel Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

BATON ROUGE, La. — In response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) today opened the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) to support essential critical infrastructure personnel. By simply completing an application PDF (will open in new tab), these families can access subsidized care for children age 12 and under at licensed childcare centers participating in the program, or through registered and certified family childcare and in-home providers.

Mayor Broome’s Statement on Fatalities Attributed to COVID-19 in East Baton Rouge Parish

Baton Rouge, LA – March 23, 2020 – I am deeply saddened to learn of the first fatalities attributed to COVID-19 in East Baton Rouge Parish today. On behalf of our community, I share our love and condolences with the patients’ family and friends.

LDR extends state income tax deadline due to coronavirus public health emergency

BATON ROUGE – Due to the public health emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic, the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) is extending the deadline for state income taxes to July 15, 2020. The extension applies to Louisiana individual, corporation, fiduciary and partnership income tax returns and payments.

BRAC’s March 22 COVID-19 Brief: Business Guidance for Stay-at-Home Order

Today Governor John Bel Edwards announced a stay-at-home quarantine for the state of Louisiana.

Gov. Edwards Issues Statewide Stay at Home Order to Further Fight the Spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana

Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statewide Stay at Home order that goes into effect at 5 p.m. Monday, March 23, to further fight the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana, as the number of confirmed cases have topped 800 and spread to more than half of our parishes.

Mayor-President signs Executive Order temporarily waiving sign ordinance as a show of support for small businesses

Today, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome issued an Executive Order temporarily suspending the parish’s sign ordinance for 120 days, providing businesses an opportunity to advertise adjustments to their services on signs in the public right-of-way.

BRAC Releases Analysis of Updates to Federal and Local Resources for Businesses

Baton Rouge, La. (March 19, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released the following analysis of new federal legislation and updates to existing federal and local resources for businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Louisiana Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Louisiana small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced today. SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, to declare a disaster following a request received from Gov. John Bel Edwards on March 16, 2020.

Tax Return Extensions and Other Matters Related to COVID-19

On March 11, 2020, Governor John Bel Edwards declared a statewide public health emergency as a result of the imminent threat posed to Louisiana citizens by the outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus known commonly as COVID-19. The Department of Revenue continues to actively monitor this ongoing situation in concert with the Governor’s Office.

BRAC Releases Business Survey for COVID-19

Baton Rouge, La. (March 13, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today announced it has opened a survey designed to gather the impact of COVID-19 on local businesses and the regional economy. The survey, and recommendations and resources for businesses, is available at brac.org/recovery.