Background: This document contains information gathered by LED and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness office, with the assistance of Genea Lathers, Planning Branch Manager. This information and associated update articles are provided to keep business and industry stakeholders informed of current activities and actions taken in response to the National and State Emergency Declarations issued due to the COVID‐19 event.

Louisiana Economic Development March 16‐20 Updates

SBA’s Administrator, Jovita Carranza, approved the Governor’s request for an SBA disaster declaration. This approval allows small businesses to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans. It is critical that small businesses know that this resource is available and we are asking for your help in sharing this information to additional state or local officials so that they can continue to share. There are the main items to share:

  •   The press release has important information and can be viewed at:
  •   Small Businesses will now be able to apply at
  •   New PPT with good technical information available now. Attached to these notes.
  •   Should be posted to LABEOC “Resource List”
  •   Information fully available at LED’s web‐site: (see COVID‐19 Resources banner)

    Local information can be quickly posted, this allows a way we can provide and amplify local messages and local resources that are posted by REDOs or others. This resource page is fluid and flexible, and will be updated real‐time throughout the duration of this event.

    We continue to have dialogue with the Louisiana Bankers Association relative to a Rapid Response Fund for Small Biz working capital, with a low interest rate and flexible terms. More on this soon, we are pushing hard.

    Louisiana Department of Revenue March 16‐20 Updates

    •   Businesses have additional time to file returns due this month for sales and excise taxes collected by the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR). The extended deadline is May 20, 2020, for applicable returns and payments that were due Friday, March 20.
    •   The extension applies to sales, beer excise and wine excise tax returns and payments for the February 2020 tax period. By state law, sales and excise tax returns for any monthly tax period are generally due on the 20th day of the following month. However, LDR is extending this month’s deadline due to the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This is an automatic extension and no extension request is necessary.
    •   LDR will waive penalties and interest for applicable returns and payments received by the extended May 20 deadline.
    •   For more information, including a full list of all taxes eligible for this relief, read Revenue Information Bulletin 20‐ 008. (See Department of Revenue web‐site)

      Office of Community Development March 16‐20 Updates

    •   Requests made to Federal Administration for repurpose of previously provided disaster relief funds, other accommodations and assistance.
    •   Provided input to CODEL regarding possible supplemental appropriation language
    •   Contacted PROP program loan recipients to gauge their difficulties and offer payment deferrals if necessary


Update on Business Support Task Force Actions ~ March 16‐20, 2020

Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) March 16‐20 Updates

  •   Alcohol delivery permit fees imposed by LSA R.S. 271.4 were reduced to $100.00. Delivery application process was streamlined and prioritized for issuance of permits within a 24‐48 hour period.
  •   Temporarily lifted restrictions imposed by LSA R.S. 26:73/26:272 to allow Class A‐restaurant permit holders to sell or offer for sale prepackaged, sealed beer and wine for take‐out or curbside. Allowed any businesses with an existing drive thru to continue regular service. All businesses are not allowed to permit any persons inside the establishment or to loiter outside the licensed premises.
  •   Agency extended or waived violation fees imposed at March 2020 administrative hearings. All businesses deadline were automatically extended to April 30, 2020. All server fines imposed in March and currently outstanding as of March 13, 2020 will be waived.
  •   All permits expiring in March have been extended to April 30, 2020. Permit holders were urged to submit online renewals.

    Louisiana Work Force Commission March 16‐20 Updates Accommodations granted for claimant and employers in response to the impact of COVID‐19
    For claimants:

  •   Any individual who files for his/her first compensable week of unemployment benefits from now through the end of the Governor’s proclamation will not be required to serve a one week waiting period before receiving benefits.
  •   Work search requirements for ALL claimants filing weekly certifications for benefits from now through the end of the Governor’s proclamation have been waived.
  •   In‐person reporting requirements are considered impractical during a pandemic event and are suspended through the end of the Governor’s proclamation.
  •   Separations (such as quits or discharges) which are the direct result of the impact of COVID‐19 are not the fault of either the employer or the claimant, and as such, the claim will not be disqualified.
  •   Appeals deadlines listed on all appealable unemployment determinations mailed between now through the end of the Governor’s proclamation will be suspended.

    For employers:

  •   Employers will be required to file their first quarter 2020 wage and tax reports with the agency by April 30, 2020, but payment of the associated taxes will be deferred until June 30, 2020.
  •   Louisiana employers will not be impacted by unemployment benefits paid to workers due to COVID‐19. Governor John Bel Edwards issued proclamation (JBE 2020‐27) to relieve employers of benefit charges associated with COVID‐19. This means that any unemployment benefits workers collect as a result of the pandemic will not be charged to individual employer UI tax accounts.
  •   Appeals deadlines listed on all appealable unemployment determinations mailed between now through the end of the Governor’s proclamation will be suspended.

Update on Business Support Task Force Actions ~ March 16‐20, 2020

Louisiana Insurance Commission March 16‐20 Updates

Regarding Business interruption insurance, insurance coverage can vary depending on the type of policy you have. Check with your insurance company or agent to see if your policy covers an epidemic or pandemic. Most business interruption policies cover business closures for events such as fire, a burst pipe, or a windstorm. Just because a civil authority orders travel restrictions or closes public spaces does not necessarily mean you have a covered loss under your business interruption policy. Check with your insurance company or agent to see if your policy covers an epidemic or pandemic.

Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center March 16‐20 Updates

  •   LABEOC has submitted requests on behalf of LA Retail Association for tax relief, minor employment school signature waivers, and freight industry driver hour/weight limit waivers.
  •   Development of a Slack Channel information sharing page for LABEOC members is progressing. Free service will give LABEOC members access to declarations and information. Operating is platform agnostic and can be used from desktop, laptop, phone, etc. Beta test will occur over weekend with rollout during the week of 20 March 2020.
  •   Coordinating daily other state BEOCs on trends, information sharing, and best practices. Louisiana Small Business Development Centers March 16‐20 Updates
    •   The Louisiana Small Business Development Center network remains committed to helping the Louisiana small business community through the COVID‐19 (Coronavirus) event. To adhere to current medical guidance from federal and local government, the Louisiana Small Business Development Center has transitioned to offer our 1:1 business advisory and consulting services virtually using an online platform of choice. To request assistance, visit the website at and users will be directed to electronically request assistance via email. We have also postponed all in‐person workshops, and will provide further updates regarding possible workshops in webinar format.
    •   Programs and applications for assistance are available to help existing small businesses handle economic loss associated with COVID‐19. Governor John Bel Edwards announced that all small businesses in Louisiana are eligible to receive COVID‐19 disaster aid from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
    •   Please contact the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at [email protected] to arrange a virtual meeting or phone call with a Business Consultant and to learn more about programs being developed, and be sure to check for updates.


      Genea Lathers
      Planning Branch Manager
      Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness Emergency Management Preparedness Section
      7667 Independence Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70806
      Office: 225‐925‐7445
      Cell: 225‐936‐5586
      Email: [email protected]

      Don Pierson, Secretary
      Louisiana Economic Development T 225.342.5388
      [email protected]