Greater New Orleans, Inc. is monitoring and acting on the regional impact of the coronavirus.

As the coronavirus evolves, GNO, Inc. is focusing on business continuity.  We want to ensure that we make it through the coming weeks safeguarding economic, as well as physical, health.

As the economic development organization for the Greater New Orleans (GNO) region, the epicenter of economic productivity and tax revenue for the State of Louisiana, it is incumbent upon GNO, Inc. to build a path towards recovery and future prosperity.

This page is designed to provide useful resources and information to businesses and individuals in our region. Click below to access each area of focus:


You can find an additional set of resources here.

Getting Back to Work, In the New Normal

Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc.) released a plan for restarting the Greater New Orleans economy, and reopening businesses with a responsible and safety-first approach. The “Getting Back to Work, in the New Normal: Best Practices for Business Reopening” plan was designed to reflect current best-practices, and will evolve as new information becomes available
  • The plan may be downloaded directly here.
  • You can review the phased approach for reopening the GNO, Inc. office here.
Reopening Guidelines Web

Can My Business Open?

Unsure of whether your business can open? View this explainer to help understand current regulations in Louisiana.

Getting Employees Back to Work

Healthcare Support

As businesses in our community return to work, our region’s healthcare providers are providing answers to screenings and other questions regarding healthcare that workers and business leaders are having at this time.

Summer Camps

Now that the school year is coming to a close, and parents are returning to work, we have gathered a list of resources to help find available summer camps for Summer 2020.

Business Lending Options

  • WEBINAR VIDEO: Loan Gumbo – Which Loan is Right for You?
    This webinar addresses what factors to consider when identifying the best fit for a loan for your business. A panel of experts will address your most pressing questions, highlighting the differences between the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, while exploring other available programs. Speakers include: Michael Hecht (GNO, Inc.), Secretary of Economic Development Don Pierson (LED), Carmen Sunda, (Louisiana Small Business Development Center), and Chris Kane (Adams and Reese).
  • Loan Comparison Chart
  • Loan Comparison FAQs

Paycheck Protection Program

Paycheck Protection Program

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes an important provision aimed at keeping workers employed and small businesses afloat. In order to help you see all relevant information in one place, we have consolidated documents, with a focus on the Paycheck Protection Program, into a CARES Act Binder

The “Paycheck Protection Program,” which GNO, Inc. and partners strongly advocated for, expands on the Small Business Administration’s existing 7(a) program. But, it is different in two key ways:

  • The loans are made by private, local banks and CDFIs, not the SBA – ensuring speed
  • The loans, if used on payroll and other operating expenses , are forgivable

Please note, the Paycheck Protection Program is different from the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which is administered directly through the Small Business Administration.

Business Assistance Resources

Key Resources:

The Louisiana Loan Portfolio Guaranty Program

  • This program will offer loans of up to $100,000 to Louisiana small businesses of fewer than 100 employees that are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Further, the loans will require no payments for 180 days, and carry below-market interest rates of no more than 3.5%. You can learn more about the program here.

SBA’s COVID-19 Disaster Relief Lending

Employee Retention Credit
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, 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.

Main Street Lending Program

  • The Federal Reserve has announced that it is establishing a Main Street Lending Program (Program) to support lending to small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • GNO, Inc.’s Overview of the program
  • The Federal Reserve has compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for review.

Employment Updates

  • Unemployment FAQs – Coronavirus-Related Unemployment Insurance Frequently Asked Questions for Employers
  • Current Job Openings to Meet Coronavirus Needs
    If you are company with urgent hiring needs, please contact Evie Poitevent Sanders at [email protected]
  • The Louisiana Workforce Commission is changing the way unemployed workers file their weekly certification. Workers currently must re-certify each week that they are eligible for unemployment. For more information on the change, click here. For GNO, Inc.’s one-pager on unemployment, click here.

Higher Education and Training Resources

GNOpivot is an initiative to help regional companies move to “war-footing,” wherein they pivot their standard operations in order to make products or provide services in demand for the fight against the Coronavirus.

As our region reopens for business, companies are in need of products and services to protect their workers and customers. The GNOpivot Marketplace is an online platform for purchasing PPE, signage, digital services and more. The full catalog of products can be accessed at

Coronavirus Support for Music Industry Workers

GNO, Inc. has spearheaded the New Orleans Music Economy, an initiative with a vision for New Orleans to have both the brand of America’s premier music city and a thriving music economy that provides jobs and wealth to support musicians, IP managers, publishers, marketers, legal representatives, and all other aspects of the business of music. This will sustain our artists and keep them here, and will create thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in wealth to benefit the Greater New Orleans region. Through the New Orleans Music Economy Initiative, New Orleans will capture the value of its musical culture and re-invest it at home.

Learn more about the program from our Executive Summary.

Best Practices & Tips for the Workplace