While restaurant groups received the most restaurant pandemic relief grants locally, two of the top 10 recipients were strip joints
New Orleans Small Business Grants
Share All Commons: Rick’s Cabaret and Penthouse Club were among the top recipients of the restaurant grant aid
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When a $28.6 billion restaurant recovery fund was signed into law in March 2021 as part of America’s bailout, it looked like restaurants cashing in on regulatory shutdowns since the pandemic began would finally get the help they needed . . However, some of New Orleans’ largest grantees do not appear to be the entities the program was intended to support – generally defined as businesses where the public or visitors gather to serve food or drink.
The Small Business Administration has released a list of more than 100,000 food and beverage businesses that have been approved for grants under the program. In New Orleans, RCI Entertainment and American Restaurant Inc., the companies that own Rick’s Cabaret and the Penthouse Club, each received $5 million in grant approvals. Exotic dance venues sued and won the Payment Protection Program (PPP) earlier this year, giving them access to the latest RRF grants.
The largest matching amount, $10 million, was awarded to just one restaurant group: QED Hospitality, which owns the Ponchartrain Hotel restaurants and bars. Next is the LLC behind Cafe du Monde, HN Fernandez with $8.2 million, followed by Politan Group, St. Parent company of Roch Market, with $7.8 million. Pat O’Brien and the Commander family of restaurants each received $5 million — not a huge surprise, as it’s become clear over time that bigger companies have an easier time getting the top grants, with Antoine’s and Arnaud’s not far behind with 4.4 and 4.3. million US dollars respectively.
When the SBA’s restaurant assistance program began, it was intended to prioritize businesses owned by veterans, women and marginalized groups before white-collar business owners began filing lawsuits, forcing the SBA to suspend payments to priority applicants. When the program was terminated at the end of June due to running out of funds, approved minority businesses were left out to dry.
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New Orleans’ top 10 list reflects that the goal of prioritizing businesses owned by marginalized groups has been largely abandoned, as none are owned by veterans, women or people of color. According to an analysis by New Orleans food writer Todd Price, 47 percent of grants in New Orleans went to businesses owned by white men who have never served in the military. It’s a common theme echoed across the country, including in Portland, where the majority of grant approvals went to white-owned and food businesses. But it seems significant that two of the largest recipients of the restaurant assistance grant in New Orleans went to entertainment venues, rather than support coming from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, a fund earmarked for venues, among others.
Now the Independent Restaurant Coalition, an industry group that helped push the funding campaign, is working to add it and has called on the SBA to release approved grant details. “We hope the SBA will answer our questions about how many people who received grants during the priority period had their grants revoked. These businesses must be closed, as should every restaurant and bar affected by this pandemic,” said executive IRC director Erika Polmar. Readers can find a complete list of grantees through this Business Journal database. BATON ROUGE, La. – As part of our continued commitment to support our communities as they rebuild after Hurricane Ida, Entergy today awarded $500,000 in shareholder-funded grants , which is helping minority small business owners recover from the devastating storm.
In September 2021, Entergy announced an initial commitment of $1.25 million in shareholder contributions to support nonprofit partners in disaster relief and recovery and rebuilding assistance. The Minority Small Business Owners Initiative is additional help specifically for businesses.
“We applaud Entergy’s commitment to supporting minority-owned small businesses in the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Ida,” said Judy Reese Morse, president and CEO of the Louisiana Association of Cities. “We understand the financial hardships that the COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricane Ida have brought on our small businesses. The Louisiana Urban League, along with partners like Entergy, will continue to work to mobilize the right resources that have a direct impact on the recovery and growth of these small businesses.
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“We are very grateful for this grant, which gives us the opportunity to impact the hard-working Hispanic small business community that has weathered the pandemic and natural disasters,” said Mayra Pineda, president and CEO of the Louisiana Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. . . “We thank our longtime partner, Entergy, for your leadership and commitment to our community and to Louisiana. HCCL will continue to work hard to overcome the gaps that prevent equality and inclusion.
“As society begins the difficult task of rebuilding after Hurricane Ida, there is an opportunity and an obligation to rebuild with a focus on sustainability, equity and inclusion,” said Andrea Chen, Propeller co-founder and CEO. “A strategy for equitable resilience must include equitable representation. Entergy’s $200,000 grant to Thrive NOLA and Propeller will help increase the share of contracts awarded to black, indigenous, and small business owners of color in green infrastructure, stormwater management, and storm restoration by enabling them to submit successfully bid and compete for contracts. and resilience projects’.
For more information about Entergy Charitable Foundation grants, including application, deadline and eligibility information, visit the Entergy website.
For more than 100 years, Entergy has enriched life in our communities through strategic philanthropy, volunteerism and advocacy. Entergy’s corporate social responsibility initiatives help build and sustain thriving communities, position the company for sustainable growth and align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Our top CSR priorities are workforce education/development, poverty solutions and environmental programs. Each year, Entergy contributes $16-18 million in shareholder-funded grants to more than 2,000 nonprofit organizations in the communities where we operate. In addition, our employees volunteer approximately 100,000 hours annually in these communities, generating an economic impact of $3.75 million. Learn more about Entergy’s commitment to improving the lives of the communities we serve at entergy.com/community.
Who Received The Largest Pandemic Restaurant Relief Grants In New Orleans?
Entergy, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in New Orleans, provides life to 3 million customers throughout Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. At Entergy, we’re creating a cleaner, more flexible energy future for everyone through our diverse power generation portfolio, including increasingly zero-carbon energy sources. With roots in the Bay South region for more than a century, Entergy is a recognized leader in corporate citizenship, providing more than $100 million in economic benefit to local communities through philanthropy and advocacy in recent years. Our approximately 12,500 employees are dedicated to securing life today and for generations to come. Learn more at entergy.com and follow @Entergy on social media. #WePowerLife
Louisiana Corporate Hurricane Center New Orleans Charitable Contributions Community Partnership Entergy Hurricane Ida Charities LA Community NOLA Community Social Responsibility Sustainability State Treasurer John Schroeder opens his first Bond Committee meeting as chairman on Thursday, December 14, 2017. Senate President Rep. John Alario, R-Westwego, is to Schroeder’s right.
State Treasurer John Schroder opens his first bond committee meeting as chairman Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. Senate President John Alario, R-Westwego, is to Schroder’s right. Photo by Attorney Mark Ballard
Louisiana small businesses can begin applying for grants of up to $15,000 each on July 28, Treasurer John Schroder announced Wednesday, after selecting three companies to lead the $275 million program created by Republican lawmakers.
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Schroder said at a press conference that he has selected accounting firm Postlewaite & Netterville to manage the program, New Orleans marketing firm MLCWorks to promote it and OpenGov to manage the online portal.
The plan was pushed by a task force created by legislative leaders to present ideas for a coronavirus recovery in legislative sessions that ended Tuesday. The chairman of that task force, Jason DeKier, and former state representative and Lafayette Mayor Joel Robideaux, a member of the task force, offered a contract to run the program, prompting calls from at least one top Republican lawmaker to withdraw. .
Instead, Schroder’s office will spend $7.16 million from federal aid contracts with Postlewaite & Netterville, MLCWorks and OpenGov. The P&N contract is for up to $5.8 million, MLCWorks will receive up to $1.2 million, including media purchases, and OpenGov will receive up to $158,000.
Beginning July 28, P&N will review applications from eligible businesses, and businesses can visit latreasury.com to sign up for updates. By law, Schroeder had to announce the start date of the program by