Application Period for Louisiana’s Main Street Recovery Grant Program Opens July 28

Eligible businesses in New Orleans are urged to prepare for the state of Louisiana-administered Main Street Recovery Program application period, which will begin no later than July 28. And grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The Louisiana Legislature has designated $300 million from the Federal CARES Act for a small business grant program, through which grants of up to $15,000 may be awarded to cover COVID-19 related expenses.

In the first 21 days of the program, grants will be given to businesses that didn’t receive a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, insurance payment or an Economic Injury Disaster loan. In the first 60 days, $40 million will go to businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans. 

Eligibility requirements include:

• Applicant must be domiciled in Louisiana as of March 1, 2020

• Suffered an interruption of business

• At least 50 percent owned by one or more Louisiana residents

• Filed Louisiana taxes in 2018 or 2019 or will file taxes in 2020

• Had no more than 50 full-time employees as of March 1, 2020

• Have customers or employees visit a physical location

• Are not part of a bigger business with more than 50 full-time workers

• Does not exist for the purpose of advancing partisan political activity and does not directly lobby federal or state officials

• Does not derive income from passive investments without active participation in business operations

For more information and to sign up for email alerts visit: https://www.treasury.la.gov/main-street

City, Community Leaders Celebrate Start of Lower Ninth Ward Road Work

Mayor LaToya Cantrell joined other officials today (Monday, July 13) to mark the beginning of the $8.8 million Lower Ninth Ward Northeast B roadwork project.

Mayor Cantrell was joined by District E City Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen and and Rev. Michael Zacharie of Beulah Land Baptist Church.

“We refuse to let COVID-19 keep us from doing the critical and time-sensitive work to improve our infrastructure, whether it’s fixing our streets or repairing or creating new buildings,” said Mayor Cantrell. “And that means all over New Orleans, which is why I’m excited to see major roadwork improvements in the Lower Ninth Ward.”

“There is a total of $80 million in FEMA-funded projects that are either completed, under construction or planned for the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood,” said Ramsey Green, Deputy CAO for Infrastructure. “Two projects have already been completed, and two are now under construction. Crews began the $5.7 million Lower Ninth Ward Northwest Group B project in December and now the $8.8 million Lower Ninth Ward Northeast Group B project which, when completed, will lead to 24 fully reconstructed blocks and an overall improved quality of life for those residents.”

The FEMA-funded project is divided between the Department of Works ($6.2 million) and SWBNO ($2.6 million). Work began in June. This is the fourth of 13 projects scheduled for the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood. The scope of work on this 24-block, full-depth reconstruction project includes replacing 10,000 linear feet of damaged underground waterlines and 5,000 linear feet of sewer and drainage lines along with repaving the roadway; replacing damaged sidewalks and driveway aprons; and installing Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant curb ramps at intersections.

The project is anticipated to be complete in fall 2021.

Space Still Open for COVID-19 Meal Assistance Program

There is still capacity to serve residents in need through the COVID-19 Meal Assistance program. Within the first two weeks of operation, the program
(a partnership between the city of New Orleans, its vendor, Revolution Foods, along with their partners at Chef’s Brigade and the New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute) have cooked, packaged, and delivered 82,564 meals to a growing list of eligible residents which has now surpassed 6,000. The meals are made by over 60 restaurants across the city. Participating restaurants include Katie’s, Diva Dawg, Frankie & Johnny’s, Toup’s, Silk Road, Café Dauphine, Poke Loa, Central City BBQ, Taceaux Loceaux, and many more.

A few sample menu items include: chicken & sausage étouffée; curried chickpeas & vegetables with jasmine rice; wild Louisiana catfish creole with brown rice & spiced green beans; Cuban roasted pork, jasmine rice with black beans; white beans, ham, rice and cabbage; grilled chicken alfredo; and shrimp pasta among many others.

A cost-sharing collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), this first-of-its-kind program is providing temporary emergency food assistance to residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligibility comes in many forms, including seniors over 65, children under 18, those who are quarantining, those who are infected with COVID-19, and those who are homeless. Residents are also eligible if they fall into a high risk category due to health conditions, which include: smoking, pregnancy, diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, obesity, heart conditions, chronic lung disease, kidney and liver disease, immuno-compromised, HIV or AIDS, Sickle Cell Disease, and more. No identification or documentation is required to apply. 

To apply to receive meals, go to nola311.org/mealassist or call 3-1-1 (504-658-2299). Restaurants who want to join in this effort should go to chefsbrigadenola.org.

Renaming Commission Holds First Meeting

The City Council Street Renaming Commission, an advisory committee created to initiate a public engagement process to consider renaming certain streets, parks, and public places in New Orleans that honor white supremacists, held its first meeting in July. The Council approved the motion authored by Councilmembers Kristin Gisleson Palmer and Jay H. Banks to establish the Commission during a regular meeting on June 18.

 The Commission consists of nine appointed members by each Councilmember and Mayor LaToya Cantrell, and the City Planning Commission (CPC) appointing the remaining two members. The following individuals have been confirmed to serve on the Commission:

Richard Westmoreland – westmorelandCCSRC@gmail.com

Mark Raymond – raymondCCSRC@gmail.com

Paul Sterbcow – sterbcowCCSRC@gmail.com

Karl Connor – connorCCSRC@gmail.com

Gia Hamilton – hamiltonCCSRC@gmail.com

Kevin Jackson – jacksonCCSRC@gmail.com

Galethea Baham – bahamCCSRC@gmail.com

Bobbie Hill – hillCCSRC@gmail.com

Kimberly Jones-Williams – joneswilliamsCCSRC@gmail.com

The Commission will serve for a full calendar year with the responsibility for making the following recommendations:

• A list of streets, parks, and places that should be renamed, accompanied by a detailed explanation.

• A proposed list of replacement names for each recommended street, park, or place, accompanied by a detailed explanation.

• A process to facilitate both educating residents and receiving public feedback on the proposed changes.

• The Commission has no more than three months from its first meeting to provide an initial report with its recommendations and hold a public meeting on that report a month later. The final report incorporating public feedback will be submitted to the Council by October. The report will serve as the basis for district Councilmembers to begin the renaming process.  

 The Commission will also develop a website to gather feedback and to update the public on their research and progress along the way. Councilmember Palmer and Banks encourage citizens to email the Commission with their input and stay engaged throughout the process. 

Mayor’s Office of Youth & Families Celebrates the Conclusion of the First Parent Leadership Training Institute Cohort

Earlier this month, the Mayor’s Office of Youth & Families celebrated the culmination of its first Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) cohort. PLTI is a free, 20-week leadership development program designed to help parents become stronger advocates for children by equipping them with civic leadership skills necessary to engage with government, analyze civic issues and bring about change.

“I extend my deepest gratitude for the parent leaders who stepped up and took advantage of this opportunity in order to build a better future for our children,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “In the midst of a global pandemic, these parents remained committed to continuing the program and their vision for a better, family-focused New Orleans. All of our children deserve to live in a city that sets them up for success, and the responsibility is on all of us to ensure that happens.” 

Through the support of the National Parent Leadership Institute, the Kresge Foundation and Wisner funds, the Office of Youth & Families (OYF) relaunched PLTI in the Fall of 2019. The program was previously hosted by the nonprofit organization, Orleans Public Education Network. However, the Mayor’s Office relaunched the program within city government because of Mayor Cantrell’s deep commitment to civic engagement and community advocacy. 

Before the onset of the local COVID-19 outbreak, the group met on a weekly basis at Union Bethel AME church where dinner, childcare, and transportation were provided. Real-time translation and interpretation were also provided to ensure that language access was not a barrier to participation.   

Mayor Cantrell provided the keynote address to the 18 graduates and congratulated the cohort for their numerous accomplishments, persistence and commitment to making the world better for our children. In line with the program’s emphasis on civic leadership, Mayor Cantrell urged the group to stay engaged in upcoming elections and participate in and promote the 2020 Census. The Mayor participated through the entire ceremony to hear parents present their community projects, which covered topics such as language justice, juvenile justice, mental health and food security.

The Office of Youth & Families plans to accept applications for the next cohort this Winter. For more information on the Parent Leadership Training Institute, visit parentswholead.org.

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