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On June 17, 2021, Governor John Bel Edwards signed Act 410 of the 2021 Louisiana Regular Session into law. The Act provides for a relief fund for eligible small businesses and nonprofits related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The fund, valued at $10 million, will provide grants of up to $25,000 for qualified applicants.
In order to qualify, applicants must meet certain requirements as well as enter into a cooperative endeavor agreement with the Louisiana Department of Revenue to ensure funds are appropriately disbursed. All applicants must be open and active since June 17, 2021 and have filed all applicable Federal and Louisiana tax years for tax years 2019 and 2020. Applicants must also be in good standing with the Louisiana Secretary of State and must not exist to advance partisan political activity nor directly lobby federal or state officials.
While both nonprofits and small businesses are eligible, requirements for the types of entities vary. First, eligible nonprofit entities include public charities and faith-based organizations. Furthermore, if the nonprofit is owned by another organization, then that organization must also be a nonprofit corporation. Finally, the funds must provide aid to communities affected by COVID-19. Priority consideration will be given to nonprofits providing food, employment, and education assistance programs.
Eligible small businesses must have 50 or fewer employees and must be classified as either a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Grant funds must provide workforce development activities that address negative economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The activities must aid workforce preparation or improve an individual’s employment opportunity. Examples of qualifying activities include academic education, basic education, vocational education, technical education, occupational education, job readiness training, and job search training. The funds can be utilized to aid current employees, prospective employees, or the general public.
The window for applying begins August 16, 2021 and the first round of grant funding is expected to be made available September 10, 2021. Applicants will not be awarded on a first-come-first-served basis, but rather based on a priority of funding use as required by the statute. The application can be found online through the Louisiana Department of Revenue’s website, located here.