The coronavirus pandemic's economic impact is disrupting businesses, and that also disrupts revenue collected by local governments.
"I know a lot of our people at this time are really worried, and I understand that they have a right to worry about how they're going to make ends meet," said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. "And I hear you, and I've been fighting for you, and we'll continue to do just that."
The mayor said making matters worse, about half of the city's revenue comes from sales tax collections -- revenue that's crashing as people stay home and spend less, other than groceries and other basic necessities. She said it will present a challenge for the city to keep services available to the people who need them most.
"Much more severity is coming with layoffs that we have seen happening throughout the city of New Orleans," said the mayor.
The mayor encouraged people who qualify for unemployment benefits to seek them. She also offered support to the business community, and encouraged them to help their employees.
The city is waiving penalties and fees that businesses are subject to if they are late with sales tax payments, despite the hit that will cause the city's operating budget.
Cantrell said the city is also extending the deadline for renewal of alcoholic beverage permits to try and protect businesses bottom lines.
The mayor said it's her hope that businesses will use this leeway to continue paying their employees.
However, she also said businesses that continue to operate, like grocery stores, need to get their sales taxes in on time.
City Hall released this statement this evening: