CHAMBER NEWS: April 6, 2020
Attend Webinars for Up-to-Date, Accurate Small Business Loan Information
In these unprecedented times, a lot of information is changing quickly. Southeastern Louisiana University's Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is funded with U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) dollars and receives daily SBA updates.

To help businesses understand which loan program to use and how to file for them, SBDC is hosting two Zoom webinars each day this week. The daily 9:00 a.m. webinar covers the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and the daily 2:00 p.m. webinar covers the CARE Act and the Payroll Protection Program (PPP). They recommend businesses attend both webinars to have all the information and confidence to select which or both programs work best for them.

EIDL Webinars:

CARES Act/PPP Webinars:
Help Available to Navigate Human Resource Issues with COVID-19, New Legislation
Legal Updates and Human Resources Best Practices Surrounding COVID-19 is the subject of a virtual workshop to be hosted three times this week at 10:30 AM on Tuesday, April 7, Wednesday, April 8 and Thursday, April 9.

St. Tammany Corporation and the Northshore Society for Human Resource Management are partnering to provide guidance on employment law implications to the St. Tammany business community. Topics include the effect of the CARES Act on employers, as well as the new I-9 and reminders regarding the WARN Act.

The virtual workshops are open to representatives of all businesses--and the people managers, workforce, talent and training professionals in any organization may find it most beneficial. The workshops are free to join and will be facilitated via Zoom.

Upcoming Chamber Events
TOMORROW, Tuesday, April 7
9:00 AM to 10:00 AM

LIMITED to 100 participants

Physical and mental health are important during this stay-at-home order. We have assembled a team to help guide you with expert advice.

Molly Koenig
Melaleuca/Fitness Instructor
Brittany Craft, RND, LDN
Eat Fit Northshore
Ochsner Health System
Dr. Andre Judice
Northshore Wellness
and Counseling
Wednesday, April 8
9 AM to 10 AM via Zoom

LIMITED to 20 participants

This members-only benefit provides a fast, effective networking opportunity while maintaining social distancing. Participants will give 1-to-2 minute sales pitches about what distinguishes their business/ service from others in their field or just inform other members about their organization and what a good referral for them would be.
You must have access to a webcam to participate.
Networking Opportunities
Join the St. Tammany Member Facebook Group and stay in touch with more than 120 fellow members who've joined already. It's a private group for Chamber members only to share business updates, hours of operation and special promotions.

Follow the Chamber on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Post your takeout, curbside and delivery operations on St. Tammany Eats--or go there to order your meal and support local businesses.

Use your Chamber member benefits to advertise specials or share news with other members. Read more here.
Advertise your business to other members HERE
or with a separate CHAMBER member Eblast email
We are changing with the current business environment. During this time, we are now offering members the opportunity to use this promotional space ($125) in our daily Chamber News and/or send a standalone Eblast email ($250) to our Chamber list Monday through Friday. Our current open and click-through rates are up 5-10% over our normally better-than average rates. Click here to reserve.
Updates from Our Partner GNO, INC.
Paycheck Protection Program: The forgivable loan program enters its first full week of applications today.
  • GNO, Inc.’s overview of the program is here.
  • You can find the latest guidance on the U.S. Department of Treasury website here.
  • Finally, there is a GNO, Inc. webinar, with questions and answers, here.

Employee Retention Credit: The Employee Retention Credit is another tool to help businesses keep employees on their payroll. The Employee Retention Tax Credit is a 50% tax credit for the first $10,000 of compensation, including the employer portion of health benefits, for each eligible employee. There are no business size limitations. In order to qualify, companies must have fully or partially suspended operations to comply with government prevention mandates, or have gross receipts at less than 50% of a comparable quarter last year.
  • For a guide to the Employee Retention Tax Credit from the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, click here.  
  • To access IRS Form 7200, which is needed to claim the credit, click here.  
  • To find the IRS' answers to FAQs about the credit, click here.  
NOTE: If a business is receiving a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program, they are NOT eligible for the Employee Retention Tax Credit, as this would be considered "double dipping" for the same payroll and the same workers.
Community Crisis and Disaster Response Grants Available
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation has set up a $2 million grant fund for nonprofits meeting the needs of Louisianians affected by COVID-19. This can include immediate needs like food, paying utility bills and more. Grants can also be used to meet more long-term needs such as ongoing patient education, economic recovery efforts and more. Click here for more information.
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