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 modified phase three of reopening the economy. As of Monday, August 16, 2021, most businesses may operate at 100% capacity.
Masks are currently required indoors for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are also required at outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people if total attendance is more than 50% of the venue’s capacity.
Proof of at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine or negative PCR test within 72 hours is required for anyone 12 years of age or order, including employees, to visit indoor dining institutions, bars, gyms, group fitness classes, indoor stadiums and arenas, concerts and music halls, event spaces such as ballrooms and reception halls, casinos, and a variety of other indoor entertainment and performance spaces.
The same requirements apply to large outdoor events of more than 500 people if total attendance is more than 50% of the outdoor venue’s capacity.
Individuals can prove their vaccination status by using the LA Wallet App, CDC Vaccination Card (original, digital photograph, or photocopy of both sides), an official record issued by another state, foreign nation, or World Health Organization, or an official vaccine record issued through a vaccine clinical trial.
Complete details on modified phase three 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 Shuttered Venue Operations Grant (SVO), signed into law on December 27, 2020, offers grants equal to 45% of 2019 gross earned revenue or $10 million (whichever is less) for live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organizations, museums, zoos, aquariums, movie theatres and others that meet eligibility requirements. To be eligible, the venue must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020 and not have received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020. Funds may be used for a variety of expenses including payroll, rent, utility payments, mortgage payments, insurance payments, and more. For more information on the program and how to apply, visit https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/shuttered-venue-operators-grant#section-header-6.
The InvestNOLA COVID Relief Loan Fund, an initiative of the City of New Orleans, the New Orleans Business Alliance, and the InvestNOLA CDFI Growth Capital Consortium, offers loans between $10,000 and $50,000 at 6% APR with loan terms up to five and a half years. The first six months of payments will be deferred, and the final 10% of the principal loan amount may be forgiven at the end of the loan term. To learn more about eligibility and to apply, visit https://investnolarelieffund.org/.
The Louisiana Nonprofit and Small Business Assistance Program provides nonprofits and small eligible businesses up to $25,000 in grants. The $10 million program is a result of the Legislature and prioritizes small businesses providing workforce development activities and nonprofits providing food, employment, and education assistance. The application process is open as of Monday, August 16. For more details and to apply, visit https://esweb.revenue.louisiana.gov/SmallBusinessAssistance/Eligibility/.
The Employee Retention Tax Credit offers a 70% tax credit for the first $10,000 of compensation, including health care benefits, for each employee of a business for any quarter in 2021. To qualify, business operations must have been interrupted due to government regulations or have less than 80% of gross receipts compared to the previous year. If you are participating in the Payroll Protection Program, you are now eligible according to the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. The credit has also been extended through July 1, 2021. For complete details on this IRS tax credit, visit https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/new-law-extends-covid-tax-credit-for-employers-who-keep-workers-on-payroll.
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 restrictions, vaccines, testing, COVID-19 spread prevention, city services and an assortment of other topics. Visit https://ready.nola.gov/ for more information.
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 has compiled a comprehensive list of available resources including a library of recent webinars produced by the Chamber of Commerce on various business topics relevant to COVID-19. More information can be found by visiting http://www.neworleanschamber.org/resources.
The Greater New Orleans Foundation has launched a resource page listing available grants for non-profits, long-term support efforts, and a variety of other tools for nonprofits and those most vulnerable in the community to COVID-19. More information can be found by visiting https://www.gnof.org/covid19-resources/.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.louisianasbdc.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: https://www.norbchamber.org
- 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 commercial customers, deferred payment arrangements are available to help manage bills over time. Customers are asked to call 1-800-Entergy (1-800-368-3749) to discuss the options available.
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.