The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry disagrees with Governor Edwards’ decision to extend the stay at home order to May 15th. Matt Doyle has more.
The COVID-19 pandemic hits Louisiana’s construction sector hard, but industry leaders are calling for increased investment in infrastructure to reverse that trend. Kevin Barnhart has the story.
Louisiana Association of Business and Industry President Stephen Waguespack says he’s disappointed in the Governor’s decision to extend the stay at home order to May 15th.
Waguespack says the Governor should trust business owners to implement rules that would limit viral spread on their properties.
LABI is asking the state to use the extra time to develop a comprehensive plan to allow all businesses to open by May 15th at the latest.
Waguespack pointed to the many businesses deemed as essential as proof that companies can operate safely right now.
Waguespack says the longer Louisiana brick and mortar stores stay closed, the more comfortable Louisianans will get ordering online from out of state vendors.
The Associated General Contractors of America says the pandemic has hit the construction industry hard. Spokesperson Brian Turmail says nationally, 68 percent of construction firms report having at least one project that was underway canceled or delayed and Louisiana is part of that trend.
New Orleans saw construction jobs dip by 2,800 from March 2019 to March 2020, a 10 percent drop. Turmail says metros across south Louisiana are seeing the worst of the state’s over-the-year downward trends.
Shreveport saw 100construction jobs lost, down 1 percent.
CEO of the Louisiana AGC Ken Naquin says increased investment in infrastructure could help mitigate the economic downturn by putting more people back to work in high-paying construction careers.
A survey from Lending Tree indicates that 91 percent of coronavirus-impacted homeowners, who asked for assistance or forbearance on their mortgage are successful. Lending Tree Chief Credit Analyst Matt Schulz says he’s surprised by the high percentage, but it shows it’s worth the time to reach out to your lender.
Schulz says unemployment relief and stimulus checks are helpful, but they trickle in, receiving immediate assistance from creditors is more effective.
While a majority of those who ask for help are granted assistance, Schulz says many are unaware, almost one in five, that the option is even available with their mortgage.
Schulz says if you need assistance you have to make the effort to reach out to your mortgage company.
Governor Edwards extends the stay at home order until May 15th citing concerning COVID-19 case growth in areas outside of the New Orleans epicenter like Monroe.
Ouachita Parish reports 651 total cases and 16 COVID deaths, and Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo supports the stay at home extension.
LDH reports the Monroe and Baton Rouge regions are seeing increases in both cases and hospitalizations, while Acadiana is seeing increased cases.
Mayo says just driving around town he still sees groups of people getting together and disregarding social distancing.
Mayo says he’s also not seeing nearly enough people wear masks in public.