Today marks the start of the third week of the governor’s stay at home order which resulted in the closure of several businesses leading to over 72,000 jobless claims to the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

In Louisiana, the maximum benefit for those who file for unemployment is 247-dollars a week, but Governor John Bel Edwards says the economic relief package approved by Congress will mean an additional 600-dollars a week for unemployed workers.

“We’re working with the federal government for the enhancement of the $600 a week that we will add to the $247 state benefit,” said Edwards.

Edwards is encouraging small business owners to apply for assistance with payroll, rent and other operational expenses through the federal Paycheck Protection Program. The governor says the state is also providing additional support through a new Louisiana Loan Portfolio Guaranty Progam.

“Loans of up to $100,000 and for three months there is no interest and there are no payments due and the interest rate after that is 3.5%, which is less than what they are going to able get through the SBA,” said Edwards.

For more information go to OpportunityLouisiana.com/covid19.

Louisiana has 13,0010 positive cases and 477 deaths, an increase of 68 marking the largest single-day jump in fatal cases. The economy is also suffering and Edwards looks forward to the day when the state can ease its restrictions.

“We’re working to make sure what we can do now, and that we are positioning our selves to open the economy back up and get people back to work and get businesses back open just as soon as we possibly can,” said Edwards.

The stay at home order is through April, but the governor released a model on Friday that showed the state is on course to require 2,500 new hospitalizations a day in the New Orleans area by mid-May.