Sen. Kennedy says LA to gain at least a billion from relief package, businesses & families to benefit too

What Disaster Declaration means for Louisiana
 U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C.
U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C. (Source: WVUE)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -Louisiana, its residents and businesses stand to gain billions from the latest stimulus package. The $2 trillion relief package has people at the White House, on Capitol Hill and in Louisiana excited.

The U.S. Senate voted to approve the package Wednesday night.

Sen. John Kennedy, R-Louisiana, talked to reporters about how his home state will benefit.

"You can make up to I think $95,000 and get a little bit of money, but basically if you make $75,000 a year or less you’re going to get a $1,200 payment and $500 per child,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy said the package will send at least a billion dollars to the state.

"Louisiana will a minimum of $1.25 billion and some additional monies for state and local government based on our population. The money has to be used to fight the coronavirus,” Kennedy said.

Michael Hecht, CEO of GNO Inc., which works to attract economic development to the region praised the deal.

"For the people in Louisiana, in general, most of whom have a job with a business of under 500 people, it's excellent news,” Hecht said.

Money is set aside to help small businesses affected by the pandemic.

"This is the most flexible and I think impactful piece of small business relief legislation that I've ever seen,” said Hecht.

He had been working to get federal help for small businesses.

"First of all, it's going to administered by your local bank, not the SBA, so that's going to make it a lot quicker,” said Hecht. “The second thing is that, any portion of the loan that you spend on payroll and utilities, things to keep your lights on, keep your business open, keep people employed, up to eight weeks of that will be translated into a grant, it will be forgiven.”

For some small businesses, money from the stimulus package could mean the difference between surviving and having to close.

Hecht agrees.

"If people have jobs then they're going to get paid, they're going to be able to pay their bills and continue their lives in a somewhat normal fashion,” Hecht stated.

He urges businesses to compile documents related to the impact of the virus.

"Businesses should start collecting evidence of their spending. They should start collecting evidence of their PNL, their tax returns, their receipts, their orders, their payroll stubs, anything that can show the loss that they are currently incurring,” Hecht said.

Kennedy said there are also dollars to increase jobless benefits beyond what states provide.

“The maximum amount that you could receive under Louisiana’s state program is somewhere in the range of $250, I’m probably out a little bit. On top of that, you would receive up to $600 dollars from the federal government and that’s per week,” said Kennedy.

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