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Business Resources

Federal Reserve Releases New Information on Main Street Lending Program

January 06

United States Federal Reserve Logo

The US Federal Reserve released additional information this week on their new Main Street Lending Program, including answers to frequently asked questions. The loan program is aimed at supporting businesses with fewer than 15,000 employees that were in sound financial standing before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Reserve is working on the necessary infrastructure to get the program up and running, with an anticipated rollout of early June.

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US Small Business Administration Releases New PPP Guidance

January 01

Late last week, the US Small Business Administration released new guidance to assist businesses as they apply for forgiveness of loans issued under the Paycheck Protection Program.

The new guidance:

  • Keeps the current “75%/25% rule,” stating non-payroll costs cannot exceed 25% of the loan forgiveness amount
  • Provides more detail on the “alternative covered period,” explaining that it can begin with the borrower’s payroll cycle (not date of loan disbursement)
  • Includes bonuses and hazard pay as payroll costs eligible for forgiveness
  • Provides additional information on how loan forgiveness applies in the case of an employee who has been offered, but turned down a job

Click HERE to read the complete guidance from the SBA. In addition, new guidance was also issued for lenders, which can be found HERE.

Orion Laboratories Offering Discounted COVID-19 Testing to LABI Member Companies and Their Employees

During the COVID-19 crisis, Orion Laboratories is offering discounted virus testing to LABI member companies and their employees.

  • $123.46 per person for employers wishing to pay directly to screen their employees
  • Most insurance accepted for anyone who is showing symptoms, has potentially been exposed, or those with comorbidity (includes physician screening)
  • Orion Laboratories offers High-Throughput FDA-authorized BioGX testing on our BD MAX platform
  • Current testing is for the presence of the COVID-19 virus only and does not include antibody testing. Learn more by clicking HERE.

For more information or to schedule testing, call (225) 923-6070.

US Chamber Launches Online Reopening Hub for Business

January 01

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Logo

LABI’s national partners at the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC have launched an online reopening hub to provide businesses with guidance and information as they work to resume operations in wake of the COVID-19 crisis. The website includes both state-specific and industry sector-specific information, as well as tools such as a reopening playbook for small business and an employee screening questionnaire. To access the online resource hub, click HERE.

Reopening Information From the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance

January 01

With Louisiana entering “Phase One” reopening today, the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance has released information to help guide regional businesses as they work to get back their operations back up. The information can be found on the Alliance SWLA website, and features guidelines for restaurants, retail, and general safety tips for other workplaces.

Louisiana Workers' Compensation Corporation Launches New Foundation

LWCC Louisiana Loyal Logo

Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corporation, a LABI member company, has announced the launch of a private foundation to focus on advancing health, wellness, and safety in the workplace. LWCC is also committing $1.1 million to the foundation’s Louisiana Well Again initiative, aimed at helping the state recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

The Louisiana Well Again initiative will be implemented in three phases:

  • Phase 1 is a $100,000 gift to Feeding Louisiana, a state-wide nonprofit organization that supports food banks across the state.
  • Phase 2 is a $500,000 grants program that will help hospitals across the state support the work of COVID-19 frontline healthcare workers. Applications are currently open and funds will be distributed by June 2020.
  • Phase 3 is a $500,000 grants program to fund initiatives focused on improving the health, wellness, and safety of Louisiana workers in the wake of the COVID-19 peak. These initiatives will implement long-term solutions targeting long-existing vulnerabilities in Louisiana workers. This grants program will begin later in 2020 once there is greater clarity on the impacts of COVID-19 on Louisiana’s workforce.

For more information on the LWCC Foundation and the Louisiana Well Again initiative, including guidance on grant applications, click HERE.


New Orleans Chamber Hosting Economic Outlook Webinar Wednesday

January 06

New Orleans Chamber Logo

Wednesday, June 3 at 12:00 pm, the New Orleans Chamber will be hosting a webinar on the economic outlook for both the Greater New Orleans region and the state in wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Peter Ricchiuti, a business professor and local economist from Tulane University, will provide his expert analysis and answer questions from participants.

Register Here

BRAC Hosting Webinar on Oil & Gas Industry Wednesday

January 06

Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) Logo

Wednesday, June 3 at 11:00 am, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber will be hosting a webinar on the current state of the oil & gas industry and its impact on both the economies of the state and the Capital Region. Panelists will include Dr. David Dismukes, Executive Director and Director of Policy Analysis for the Center for Energy Studies at LSU and Tyler Gray, President & General Counsel for Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association.

Register Here 

Missed GNO, Inc. Webinar on Reopening the New Orleans Regional Economy? Watch Now

November 05

Greater New Orleans Inc Regional Economic Development (GNO) Logo

Last week, GNO, Inc. hosted a webinar to discuss their plans for restarting the Greater New Orleans economy and reopening businesses with responsible safety-first approach. During the webinar, GNO, Inc. staff, led by President and CEO Michael Hecht, delivered presentations and answered questions about their framework. To watch the webinar, click below. A copy of GNO, Inc’s reopening plan can be accessed HERE.

Watch Webinar

Missed the New Orleans Chamber's PPP Loan Webinars? Watch Them Here.

November 05

New Orleans Chamber Logo

Last week, the New Orleans Chamber hosted two webinars to discuss small business loans under the Paycheck Protection Program, including critical information that can ensure forgiveness. These conversations featured local experts who spoke about the loans at length and answered questions from participants. To watch both webinars on demand and view the accompanying Power Point Presentations, click below.

BRAC's COVID-19 Webinars for Business Continue Friday

January 01

Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) Logo

In order to provide more information to companies and their employees during the COVID-19 crisis, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber is hosting webinars to discuss topics such as health concerns for employees and customers, and turning your PPP loan into a grant.

To view BRAC’s previous webinars and other resources for businesses, click HERE to visit their COVID-19 webpage.

Missed Ochsner's Webinar for Employers? Watch it Here.

January 01

Ochsner Logo

Ochsner Health, a LABI member company, hosted a webinar to discuss the best health practices for companies so their employees are able to safely return to work. Moderated by Ochsner CEO Warner Thomas, the session featured presentations and updates from company executives and medical experts. To watch the full webinar, click HERE.

Watch Webinar

Coronavirus Updates

New Opportunities Available Through LSU Onlin

January 01

LSU Online Logo

LSU Online, the virtual learning branch of the university, has new opportunities available to help individuals and families as they work to rebuild in wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Career Change Scholarships: financial aid awards available to those displaced from their jobs due to COVID-19. For more information, click HERE.
  • Free Course Previews: learn more about a certification or degree program at no cost by taking a preview course. For more information, click HERE. To see a full list of LSU Online’s program offerings, click HERE.
  • Virtual Summer Camps: virtual versions of LSU’s Pre-College summer camps for students in grades 1-8, with scheduled, live instruction from certified teachers daily. For more information, including details on how to register your student, click HERE.

To learn more about LSU Online, including details about admissions, programs, and benefits, visit their website. 

Congressional Update from the National Association of Manufacturers

January 01

With the national implications of the COVID-19 crisis, LABI’s partners at the National Association of Manufacturers in Washington, DC, have assembled resources to provide more information about what is happening on Capitol Hill as industry works to recover.

For more information from NAM on the HEROES Act, the proposal put forward by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressional Democrats, click HERE.

US Chamber Analysis Finds Louisiana's COVID-19 Unemployment Rate is Among the Nation's Highest

January 01

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Logo

Yesterday, LABI’s partners at the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC released a national analysis of unemployment claims filed during the COVID-19 crisis. Their study found that Louisiana had the nation’s eighth highest rate with 563,070 unemployment claims. That number means that 28.4 percent of the state’s entire workforce has filed an unemployment claim since March 1, with the highest job losses in the retail, health and education services, and leisure and hospitality industries. To see the complete analysis from the US Chamber, click HERE.

Governor John Bel Edwards Releases "Phase One" Reopening Order and Guidance

January 01

State of Louisiana seal logo

Yesterday, Governor John Bel Edwards officially released his new proclamation and guidance as Louisiana moves into “Phase One” reopening. To read the Governor’s full executive order, click HERE.

Under the new directives, businesses deemed essential by CISA can remain operational as they have throughout the pandemic. Businesses classified as non-essential – the “gray area” companies, can be open at 25 percent of their occupancy as determined by the State Fire Marshal.

Several categories of businesses previously closed under Governor Edwards’ orders are allowed to reopen, but must adhere to the 25 percent occupancy rule and health and social distancing guidelines.

These businesses include:

  • Restaurants, cafes and coffee shops


Shopping malls

  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Barber and beauty shops and nail salons
  • Movie theaters
  • Racetracks
  • Museums, zoos, aquariums
  • Bars and breweries with LDH food permits

While not required, businesses are encouraged to register with the State Fire Marshal’s Open Safely portal for the most up to date information and guidance. To see industry specific guidance from the State Fire Marshal, click HERE.

Governor John Bel Edwards to Announce New COVID-19 Directives Tomorrow at 2:30 pm

State of Louisiana seal logo

Governor John Bel Edwards’ office announced via social media that he will be formally unveiling his new COVID-19 directives at a press conference tomorrow, May 11 at 2:30 pm. The Governor’s new orders will take effect after the expiration of the current “Stay at Home” proclamation on Friday, May 15.

To watch Governor Edwards’ announcement live tomorrow, click HERE.

BESE Announces May 20 Meeting to Select New Superintendent of Education

May 05

BESE President Sandy Holloway announced today that the state’s highest education board would meet Wednesday, May 20 to select a new Superintendent of Education. BESE previously announced six finalists for the position in April, and made the applicants’ materials and video interviews available to the public. To access the information about the finalists, click HERE.

To read more about Holloway’s announcement from The Advocate, click HERE.

Last week, LABI launched a new podcast, “Deep Dive,” with former Superintendent John White as the first guest. During the interview, White spoke about what is needed to run the Louisiana’s largest educational system and what, in his opinion, schools will need moving forward. To listen to the podcast, click HERE.

Policy and Research

Shreveport, Bossier Chambers Team Up on Reopening Guide

January 01

With Louisiana entering “Phase One” reopening today, the Greater Shreveport and Bossier Chambers have partnered to publish a reopening guide for Northwest Louisiana businesses. The guide includes health information, tips on customer service, employee safety, and answers to frequently asked questions. To access the full reopening guide, click HERE.

Public Affairs Research Council Releases Analysis of COVID-19 Metrics in the State

November 05

Public Affairs Research Council Logo (PAR)

Friday, the Public Affairs Research Council released a new study of COVID-19 data in the state, analyzing the trends and metrics across the Louisiana Department of Health’s nine regions. PAR’s report takes a look at information such as new cases, hospitalizations, and testing.

Read Analysis

Poll Finds That Majority of Americans Support COVID-19 Liability Reform

May 05

U.S. Chamber Institue for Legal Reform Logo

Today, the US Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform released the results of a survey that found the vast majority of Americans support enacting COVID-19 response related liability legislation. According to the poll, 61 percent of Americans are in favor of protecting businesses from opportunistic litigation stemming from the Coronavirus. The survey also touches on nationwide support for specific provisions and liability protections. To read the entire results of the poll, click HERE.

LABI Releases Policy Recommendations for Liability Reform in Wake of COVID-19

May 05

LABI Logo Stacked

Today, LABI released policy recommendations to help protect the state’s job creators from the threat of excessive and frivolous lawsuits in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Right now, Louisiana’s economy is experiencing an unprecedented crisis,” said LABI President Stephen Waguespack. “As businesses start to recover, they should be able to focus on getting their employees back to work and opening their doors without living in constant fear of being sued.”


LABI’s recommendations include specific measures designed to prevent opportunistic lawsuits against essential infrastructure companies who have worked to comply with the COVID-19 guidance provided by government authorities. In addition, LABI suggests that the Legislature take action to protect healthcare facilities and their workers, first responders, and producers of PPE and other protective materials.

The recommendations also include addressing two persistent barriers to business growth, high auto insurance rates and coastal litigation, which have inflicted even greater financial hardship on Louisiana’s job creators during the pandemic.

Waguespack added: “The Legislature recognizes that COVID-19 is both an economic and a health crisis. Passing common sense legal reform and ending coastal lawsuits will put money back in the pockets of Louisianans as we work to rebuild our state’s shattered economy.”

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LABI Releases Recommendations for Education and Workforce in Louisiana Beyond COVID-19

January 01

LABI Logo Stacked

The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) today released policy recommendations to help stabilize public education and address the dire workforce needs facing our state as Louisiana phases out of the initial response to COVID-19.

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Safe at Work: A Preliminary Framework for Louisiana’s Economic Recovery

January 01

Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) Logo

The Louisiana economy has seen job losses top 300,000 with thousands of businesses shuttered entirely. While the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the hospitality, retail, and healthcare sectors the hardest, as time goes on, consumer spending will stall and companies will begin to retain capital and cut costs as they attempt to prepare for an unpredictable future. No industry sector is unaffected. The coronavirus epidemic necessitated an unprecedented shut-down of the economy to manage the virus. While Louisiana is succeeding at “flattening the curve,” the consequence has been staggering job and business losses. Federal aid, combined with state programs, is providing some short-term relief, but it is critical that we restart the economy as soon and as safely possible. Not doing so will have grave economic and health consequences of its own.

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