BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Two weeks in and 12,000 businesses have submitted an application for the state’s Main Street Recovery Program.
“It’s been very terrible financially,” said owner of The Jefferson Lounge, Linda White.
From open to closed to open only to be closed again, White is frustrated with the status of her local watering hole during the pandemic.
“This is a neighborhood bar… the normal age in here is 50. We have 80-year-olds that live in the neighborhood and come in here in the afternoon,” she said.
And of course, with no one in her bar’s seats, no profits come in. That’s why White tried the Main Street Recovery Program.
“I applied for Main Street last Monday. I think I have a good chance of getting it because I’ve gotten nothing from the government,” she said.
White didn’t take any federal financial help, which puts her in a good position to receive up to $15,000 just to cover her main bills.
Essentially, the program gives small businesses a reimbursement grant that can help with qualifying business interrupted by the pandemic. It’s led by State Treasurer John Schroder.
“And I don’t know any that haven’t been interrupted in some way shape or form, so in my definition, every business is eligible,” said Schroder in a BRAC webinar.
Now until Aug. 18, sole proprietors and businesses with fewer than 50 employees that didn’t apply for federal help are prioritized for the grant money. This is especially true for minority, female, and veteran-owned businesses.
That’s why White hopes she has a good shot.
“If I get the money, at least it’ll pay my rent for a couple of months,” said White.
You’re not completely boxed out if you received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan though. You can apply for the Main Street Program right now too, your application just won’t be reviewed until after Aug. 18.
Schroder says you don’t need to worry about the grant money running out just yet either.
“That should not be a concern of any kind. We still have a long, long way to go until we get to the end of the line,” he said.
Schroder and White say that the application itself is no small task. Make sure you have all necessary paperwork and a scanner handy to get the job done. Click here to see if you qualify.
Schroder also says the first round of checks should go out to those small businesses Wednesday, Aug. 12.
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