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State Treasurer Halts Applications For Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grants

Paul Braun
Louisiana Treasurer John Schroder briefs the media on his plans for the Main Street Recovery Program. July 1, 2020.

Louisiana will no longer accept new applications from small businesses for the state’s coronavirus relief fund, State Treasurer John Shroder announced Tuesday.

As of Sept. 28, the Main Street Recovery Program has issued $80 million in grants to small businesses — a little less than a third of the total allocated to the program. But Schroder said that, based on the average grant amount and the number of applications received so far, he expects to distribute all $275 million to small businesses before the Dec. 1 end date of the grant program.

"The Main Street Recovery Program proved to be incredibly successful at helping small businesses survive during the pandemic. I just wish we had more funding because it's hard to turn businesses away," Treasurer Schroder said. "We'll continue to process existing applications and make grant awards. The program is far from completed. We just can't accommodate additional applications."

Schroder said in a press release that business owners who have applied for but not yet received grants can continue to check their application status through the program’s website.

On Friday, Gov. John Bel Edwards publicly requested that Schroder return $175 million of the $275 million allocated to the program. He proposed redirecting $75 million to the state’s dwindling Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, $75 million to reimburse local governments for their coronavirus response and $25 million to grants for businesses that had their operations limited during Phase 2 and Phase 3 of reopening, including bars.

Schroder has rejected that proposal and said Edwards’ characterizing the program as a failure was “offensive.”

Paul Braun was WRKF's Capitol Access reporter, from 2019 through 2023.