In Baton Rouge State Treasurer John Schroder defended a $275 million grant program he’s overseeing that was set up by the legislature. This comes after Governor John Bel Edwards recently urged lawmakers to use some of the program’s funds for other purposes. The program is designed to help businesses impacted by the pandemic. Business owners can get up to a $15,000 grant through the program if they qualify; 40,000 applications have been received.
Schroeder’s office stopped taking applications last week and said the program has allocated all available funds based on the number of applications received, but that it would continue to process pending applications and award grants daily until the program has paid out all available funds.
Recently, Gov. Edwards requested lawmakers reallocate $175 million of the program’s funds to help shore up the state’s depleted unemployment trust fund, and also to help local governments and provide grants to businesses closed in Phases 2 and 3 of the state’s COVID-19 response, such as bars.