CHAMBER NEWS: March 19, 2020
Business is not usual at this time because of the COVID-19 event
and the quickly evolving changes to our everyday personal and work life. Following is information compiled from several sources that we hope is helpful to you.
Disaster Loan Assistance Available to Louisiana Businesses
Louisiana small businesses impacted by the coronavirus are now eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA).

"Today's action by the SBA to approve Louisiana's disaster assistance application will provide critical assistance to the small businesses across our state as they are being impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak," said Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise.
Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act Requires Small Businesses to Provide Paid Sick Leave
On March 18, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to help private-sector employers and employees affected by Coronavirus-related work disruptions.

Two significant provisions of the Act include:

  1. The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA), which creates special, job-protected leave rights for employees (expanding certain employee protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act or FMLA), and
  2. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA), which requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to immediately provide employees with additional paid sick-time benefits. In short, employees who are sick with COVID-19 or need to care for someone who is sick with it must be paid for up to 10 days.
Information for Employees Temporarily Out of Work
Businesses that are temporarily closing or reducing hours due to the coronavirus can call the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) about unemployment insurance questions and other resources. If you have had to temporarily sideline employees, they may be eligible for unemployment benefits through the LWC.
Hiring Opportunities Available
Some local businesses need employees due to increased demand for their services, i.e. restocking, cleaning, delivering groceries, etc. Please spread the word about these opportunities.

If your business can help by hiring others now, let us know and we'll help spread the word.

United Way of SELA Hospitality Cares Pandemic Fund
Twelve percent of workers in southeast Louisiana are in the hospitality and tourism industry.

Louisiana-based restaurant, bar or hotel employees experiencing a financial emergency as a result of the COVID-19 event may be eligible for a one-time grant up to $500.

Online applications available March 21.
Five Misconceptions About COVID-19
St. Tammany Health System (STHS) infectious disease specialist Mike Hill MD clears up common misconceptions about the coronavirus in a YouTube video.

Click here to watch the 22-minute video.
Click here to read a summary on STHS's website.
For up-to-date health information, visit these Chamber member websites:

Been Too Busy to Cook...
Help a Local Restaurant
Go to St. Tammany Eats--Take Out and Delivery Options and order from a St. Tammany restaurant. It saves you time and provides much needed support to our local restaurants!

Spread the word to restaurants you know to post information about their restaurant on the St. Tammany Eats Facebook page. AND, spread the word to everyone you know to go to the Facebook page and support local restaurants!
Chamber staff can be reached at the following numbers:

  • Lacey Osborne, President and CEO: (985) 273-3004
  • Meredith Wright, Director of Membership: (985) 273-3002
  • Megan Haggerty, Director of Business Development: (985) 273-3008
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