State Treasurer John Schroder briefed members of the Joint Budget Committee Monday morning on his plan for doling out $300 million of CARES Act money to small businesses affected by the coronavirus.
Schroder says as many as 450,000 Louisiana businesses could qualify for the relief grants through the Louisiana Main Street Recovery Program. The maximum payout is $15,000.
Any businesses that received federal aid through the Paycheck Protection Program or the U.S. Small Business Administration have to go to the back of the line-- they can apply for these grants after 21 days.
Schroder says all the money could be spent by then, or the program could stretch on for a few months. But the goal is to spend all of the CARES Act money before the end of the year. Anything leftover would have to be sent back to the federal government.
The legislation passed last session that created this program requires $40 million to be set aside for women- and minority-owned businesses, and Schroder could keep as much as $15 million to administer the program.
Schroder is seeking bids from tech contractors to set up the online system for receiving and processing applications. He says he hopes to have a contractor selected by July 4.
Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne said the first wave of coronavirus reimbursements will go out to local governments July 1. So far municipalities have requested $165 million of CARES Act money to cover the cost of their response to the coronavirus.