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 Friday, April 9, 2021, businesses must operate at 75% capacity, indoor gatherings are limited to 150 individuals, and outdoor gatherings are restricted to 250 individuals. Bars without a state AR-Conditional permit may operate at 50% indoor capacity and offer takeout service. All alcohol sales must end at 1:00 AM. Live entertainment may now be performed following capacity limits based on business type.
Complete details on modified 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
Paycheck Protection Program
The new Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, passed by Congress on December 21, 2020, brings back the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a loan program offered through local lenders designed to encourage business owners to retain or rehire employees by offering partially forgivable loans for expenses related to payroll, rent, mortgage interests, utilities, perishable goods, safety equipment, and more. The revised PPP program will be available to first and second-time applicants. First-time applications are open to most businesses and non-profits with 500 of fewer employees with a loan calculation of 2.5x the average monthly payroll costs in the previous year. Second-time applications are open to most businesses and non-profits with 300 or fewer employees and 25% revenue loss in gross receipts from same quarters in 2019 and 2020. The loan calculation remains the same, except for restaurants and hotels who may receive loans up to 3.5x average monthly payroll costs. Loans are available until May 31, 2021. Additional details on the revised program are available via the SBA’s website, https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program.
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. The new Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, passed by Congress on December 21, 2020, provides $20 billion in funding for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance, a grant program that previously had its funding exhausted. The IEDL Advance grant provides small businesses grants of $1,000 per employee, up to $10,000. 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 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/coronavirus/employee-retention-credit.
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 business must be in good standing with the State of Louisiana and possess a Parklet Permit from the City of New Orleans. 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 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.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: 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.