Entergy New Orleans’ commitment to the local business community goes beyond keeping the power on and the gas flowing. We are partners ensuring that businesses continue to thrive and grow, even while we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. That's why we have created this business resource page with the most relevant and significant emergency loan programs and business initiatives available now.
Safely Reopening the Economy
The City of New Orleans is currently in phase three of reopening the economy. In Orleans Parish, phase three will be broken into three segments: phase 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3. As of October 17th, New Orleans is in phase 3.2. Restaurants, retail stores, and a variety of other businesses can operate at 75% capacity. Bars may now open and offer outdoor service in addition to serving to-go drinks. Breweries, concert halls, and outdoor stadiums are also allowed to open in limited capacities. Indoor social gatherings are limited to 50 people, while outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people. Should New Orleans not see a surge of coronavirus cases, the city would enter phase 3.3 on October 31st. Complete details on phase three including what businesses are permitted to open, what restrictions are in place, and what operations must remain closed can be found by visiting https://ready.nola.gov/home/. Keep in mind, Orleans Parish may have different requirements than other parts of Louisiana.
The Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office manages a program to help businesses and religious organizations safely reopen when appropriate. The initiative allows businesses and churches to register and receive up-to-date information on reopening phases and the guidelines associated with each phase. Orleans Parish businesses are required to register. To register, visit OpenSafely.la.gov.
Top Business Loan and Grant Programs
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan offers a low interest loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration for businesses suffering from a temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19. The loan may be used for any business-related expense such as payroll, debts, equipment, and materials. To apply, contact the U.S. Small Business Administration directly by visiting https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loan-emergency-advance.
The SBA Express Bridge Loan, offered through local lending institutions, can help small businesses access up to $25,000 to help overcome temporary loss of revenue. If a business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for approval or disbursement of an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), the SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan can be used now and repaid by proceeds from the EIDL. To learn more about the program, visit https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/sba-express-bridge-loans.
The Employee Retention Tax Credit offers a 50% tax credit for the first $10,000 of compensation, including health care benefits, for each employee of a business between March 12, 2020 and before January 1, 2021. To qualify, business operations must have been interrupted due to government regulations or have less than 50% of gross receipts compared to last year. If you are participating in the Payroll Protection Program, you are not eligible. For complete details on this IRS tax credit, visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/employee-retention-credit.
The Main Street Lending Program created by the U.S. Federal Reserve offers 5-year loans to companies employing up to 15,000 or with revenues less than $5 billion. Loans range from $250,000 to $300 million. To apply, borrowers should contact their bank or eligible lending institutions. Additional information on how to apply, deadlines, eligible lending institutions, and the approval process are available by visiting https://www.bostonfed.org/supervision-and-regulation/supervision/special-facilities/main-street-lending-program.aspx
The Louisiana Loan Portfolio Guaranty Program offers loans up to $100,000 through local lenders to Louisiana businesses with fewer than 100 employees. The program is designed to help businesses meet payroll, retain employees, pay rent and mortgages, and sustain operations. Details, including a list of participating banks offering loans, can be found by visiting https://www.opportunitylouisiana.com/covid19/led-loan-guaranty-program.
The City of New Orleans is operating an Outdoor Dining Grant program offering $2,000 grants for Orleans Parish restaurants and bars to support their outdoor dining capacity. To be eligible, the restaurant must have a sidewalk café permit or possess an off-street parking spot. To learn more, visit https://www.outdoordiningnola.com/
Additional Resources from our Economic Development Partners
The City of New Orleans has created a website with a variety of resources for businesses and individuals which includes information on adjustments in revenue collection such as tax payments, fines and fees, tools to promote to-go and delivery restaurant operations, and a variety of other topics. Visit https://ready.nola.gov/.
Greater New Orleans Inc., the regional economic development organization for metro New Orleans, has extensive information on business assistance resources. In addition, the organization’s GNO Pivot initiative is designed to help regional companies “pivot” their standard operations in order to produce products and services in demand due to the coronavirus. More information can be found by visiting https://gnoinc.org/initiatives/coronavirus/.
The New Orleans Business Alliance has partnered with the Conrad Hilton Foundation to launch the “Get Shift Done” initiative. The program helps connect out-of-work hospitality workers with $10/hour jobs at food banks and feeding sites. To learn more, visit https://www.getshiftdone.org/nola/home.
The New Orleans Chamber of Commerce is presenting webinars each Wednesday relevant to COVID-19. Recent topics included managing business disruption and a crash course on how to use Zoom, a telecommuting and webinar platform. More information on webinars, as well as a comprehensive list of other available resources, can be found by visiting http://www.neworleanschamber.org/resources.
The Greater New Orleans Foundation has launched the Louisiana Service and Hospitality Family Assistance Program, an initiative offering grants of up to $1,000 for service and hospitality workers whose families are experiencing financial hardships resulting from COVID-19. GNOF has also activated its Disaster Response and Restoration Fund for area non-profits and has created hubs of information and resources for individuals and nonprofits in need. More information can be found by visiting https://www.gnof.org/.
Tulane University’s Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business has launched an initiative that connects business owners with mentors who can help them navigate public and private assistance available, manage tax returns, and support business planning and financial forecasting. More information can be found by visiting https://entrepreneurship.tulane.edu/content/covid-19-resources-entrepreneurs-and-business-owners.
Tulane University’s BRACE initiative developed by medical students is providing free in-person or virtual consultations with businesses to help make following City guidelines and public health best practices as easy as possible. To request a consultation with a Tulane medical student, e-mail email@example.com.
The Louisiana Small Business Development Center is offering business consultations featuring guidance, tools, and tips for handling the COVID-19 pandemic. To request a consultation or view their resource page visit https://www.lsbdc.org/.
- New Orleans Business Alliance: http://nolaba.org
- Greater New Orleans, Inc.: https://gnoinc.org
- Greater New Orleans Foundation, Inc.: https://www.gnof.org
- City of New Orleans “NOLA Ready:” https://ready.nola.gov/.
- Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana: https://www.hccl.biz
- New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce:
- Algiers Economic Development Foundation: http://algierseconomic.com
For Entergy New Orleans customers - Entergy New Orleans encourages customers to continue to make payments on their electric and gas accounts to ensure balances do not continue to grow. For customers having difficulty paying their utility bills due to COVID-19, Entergy New Orleans has developed a new flexible payment option for our commercial customers. Working on a case-by-case basis, Entergy New Orleans’ Commercial customers will be offered deferred payment arrangements to help them manage their bills over time. Customers are asked to call 1-800-Entergy (1-800-368-3749) to discuss the options available. Additionally, Entergy New Orleans has extended the suspension of disconnects for non-payment through August 1, 2020.
Entergy New Orleans is committed to providing reliable, trustworthy, and up-to-date information to help the New Orleans business community recover from COVID-19. As we respond to the crisis, we want to hear from you. What are your biggest challenges? What questions do you have that are going unanswered? What topics would you like to see addressed? Contact our economic development team directly at EconomicDevNOLA@entergy.com
Small Business Webinar - Second in a series of webinars from Entergy New Orleans to help small businesses navigate how to get assistance during the pandemic.
Honorable Cedric L. Richmond - Congressional Representative for District 2 and Mr. Alden McDonald - President and CEO of Liberty Bank recently provided insights to help you navigate the complexities of the newly created assistance programs.