New Orleans Business Alliance

Response to COVID-19

Overview

As a result of the anticipated local economic impact of COVID-19, the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) is standing up a relief fund to meet the needs of gig economy workers who have been directly impacted via loss of income.  

NOLABA is committing $100,000 to initiate the fund, with a goal of increasing the fund assets to a minimum of $500,000. We have issued a charge across the community to encourage business leaders, philanthropy, and concerned New Orleanians to contribute to increase the potential reach and impact of this relief effort. 

As of 2017, gig economy workers represent more than 8% of the workforce in Orleans Parish, including rideshare drivers, musicians, arena workers, and festival production staff. As contract employees of often large corporations, gig economy workers tend to lack access to minimum wage, paid sick leave, overtime pay, and standard employee benefits, making them particularly susceptible to changes within the economy.

In New Orleans, many of our gig-workers depend on the cultural calendar for reliable income. With the cancellations and postponements of many large local events on the horizon, this community stands to lose out on millions of dollars of potential income, directly impacting their livelihoods and family well-being. This relief fund is being set up to ensure that these critical members of our community continue to be active participants in our economy, with an economic outlook they can depend on. 

We recognize that this fund will only be part of the solution for most families. NOLABA will be aggressively advocating for resources alongside Mayor LaToya Cantrell and the New Orleans City Council, as the need becomes more evident and the federal government’s response is solidified.

Partners

Strategy

Temporary Relief Fund Goal
$500,000+
Award Size
$500 - $1,000; dependent on a determination of need
Eligibility for Multiple Awards
Yes. Applicants can re-apply after 45 days if they remain eligible.
Approval Criteria
  1. Proof of residency in Orleans Parish
  2. Proof that ≥ 60% of income is generated via “gig-work”
  3. Demonstrated loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  4. At or below 100% Annual Median Income (AMI) Guidelines (Reference)
Document Requirements
  1. Driver’s License, bill, or bank statement proving residency
  2. Independent Contractor Agreement(s) or other proof of gig-related employment
  3. 2018 or 2019 Tax Return demonstrating income threshold
  4. Bank statements reflecting a minimum of 90 days of income activity, prior to March 9, 2020
  5. Bank statements reflecting compromised income for a minimum of 7 days, post March 9, 2020
Please note, if you lack any of these sources of documentation, we’re still willing to work with you. Please send us an email, so we can work with you to come up with a solution.
Ineligible Recipients
  • Workers with full-time employment outside of the gig-economy
  • Workers domiciled outside of Orleans Parish
Grant Disbursement
For immediacy, funds will be disbursed via PayPal. Checks are also available, if necessary.
Funding Source for Relief Fund
$100,000 was committed by NOLABA. That commitment was immediately matched by Mrs. Gayle Benson, with continued room for follow-on contributions from corporations, philanthropy, and individuals.

Individual contributions will be processed via Commit Change, which takes a 3% fee for each transaction. Corporate gifts will be collected via check or ACH payment.

Apply

The New Orleans Business Alliance is eager to support our gig economy workers during this difficult time. If you have any issues navigating the application or lack some of the required documentation, please send us an email. We want to help and are willing to explore alternative solutions.

COVID-19 Relief Grant Application

  • To qualify for this grant, you must provide copies of:

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  • Unable to provide this level of documentation? Send us an email.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do I qualify for a relief grant?

To qualify for a relief grant, you must:

  • Be a resident of Orleans Parish
  • Generate at least 60% of your income through the gig economy
  • Have experienced a loss of income as a result of COVID-19
  • At or below 100% Annual Median Income (AMI) Guidelines (Reference)

How do I apply for a relief grant?

You can apply for a relief grant through this website. Click apply and you’ll be provided with a brief form requesting information about you, your employment history, and your income. Please note you’ll be required to provide copies of: 

  • Driver’s License, bill, or bank statement proving residency
  • Independent Contractor Agreement(s) or other proof of gig-related employment
  • 2018 or 2019 Tax Return demonstrating income threshold
  • Bank statements reflecting a minimum of 90 days of income activity, prior to March 9, 2020
  • Bank statements reflecting compromised income for a minimum of 7 days, post March 9, 2020

Please note, if you lack any of these sources of documentation, we’re still willing to work with you. Please send us an email so we can work with you to come up with a solution.

Can I apply for more than one relief grant?

Yes, if you are approved for an initial grant, you can apply for a second relief grant 45 days after your initial application, assuming you still meet all eligibility criteria.

What size are the grants?

The grants being offered are between $500 and $1000.

Where is the funding coming from?

The initial $100,000 was provided directly by the New Orleans Business Alliance, using private funds. That contribution was immediately matched by Mrs. Gayle Benson. Follow-on donations have been provided by corporations, foundations, and individuals who believe in the importance of this effort.

Are all donated funds being used for grants?

Yes, all funds held in the Relief Fund will be used to provide grants to eligible members of the gig economy. Donations can be provided via check or online donation. Online transactions are managed by Commit Change, who takes a 3% fee for processing. There is no processing fee associated with check donations.

How do I contribute to the fund?

Donations can be processed directly through this website. Click the donate link and follow the prompts to complete your transaction. Donations can also be provided via check. Please email Kat Milligan, kmilligan@nolaba.org, to coordinate a contribution to the fund.

Can my company contribute to the fund?

Yes! We would love to have your support. You are welcome to use the donate portion of this website for corporate gifts. To donate using a check, please email Kat Milligan, kmilligan@nolaba.org, to coordinate your contribution.

Is my donation tax deductible?

Yes. The New Orleans Business Alliance is a 501(c)3 non profit; your donation to this fund is tax deductible.

I’m not an Orleans Parish resident, do I qualify?

Unfortunately, no. As a public-private partnership focused on economic development for New Orleans, our mission and programmatic scope is explicitly connected to Orleans Parish and its residents. We are, however, encouraging our regional partners to take up similar initiatives.

I’m receiving a notification that my file size is too big, what should I do?

Please email Kat Milligan to submit your application materials via email.

Can I turn in hard copies of my documents?

At this point in time, the full New Orleans Business Alliance team is working from home. We won’t be able to accept hard copies of documents at our office but may be able to coordinate alternative means.

I’m lacking some of the required documents, what should I do?

We are accepting alternative sources of documentation. Please send us an email so we can work with you to develop a solution.

I’ve submitted by application for the Fund, now what?

The NOLABA team is working to disperse funds as quickly as possible. We will review your application materials and follow up by phone if additional information is needed or when your application has been approved.
Have another question? We're happy to help. Please send us an email.
1250 Poydras St., Suite 2150
New Orleans, LA 70113
info@nolaba.org | 504.934.4500