Business leaders praise signed spending bill allocating $300M to small business

Updated: Jun. 16, 2020 at 9:50 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Phase 2 is well underway in Jefferson Parish, but Chamber of Commerce President Todd Murphy says businesses are still hurting.

“If you look at who really struggle through this financially it was the business community and they laid off people they close they couldn’t pay rent they couldn’t pay insurance it’s been devastating,” said Murphy.

Not all businesses in the parish received or qualified for PPP loans designed to keep them afloat. Murphy says more than 65 percent of the parish’s businesses employ 10 people or less, which is why he says a state funding bill to help specifically restart these small, mom and pop shops will be crucial.

“Business owners have taken a huge financial brunt throughout this whole crisis as have their workers their employees, so as this unemployment money begins to run out in late July, it’s very important these businesses are able to ramp back up,” said Murphy.

New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell asked the governor to veto the bill before he eventually signed it, hoping the governor would push more money towards local municipalities.

But Cantrell responding saying now that it's law, she wants to make sure the money's going to the right place.

“Right now my job and my focus is on the rules that are adopted so that they are not unfair to the small businesses in the city of New Orleans,” said Cantrell.

“It pitted municipal governments against small business interest with a few hundred million dollars of federal dollars… At the end of the day he respected the power of the purse one of the most substantial powers of the legislative branch signed into law $300 million now going to John Schroder the state treasurer to give out to small businesses,” said Sherman.

Small businesses wanting to apply for a part of the grant have to do so through the treasurer's office.

Murphy says they're a resource to help those small businesses with applications.

Business grants will be capped at $15,000 each.

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