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This time, there's no help coming.

New Orleans businesses, especially in the travel and tourism industries, are being destroyed by COVID-19 restrictions once again. But this time, there's no government bailout on the way for the business owners, or employees.

The City of New Orleans implemented strict COVID vaccine mandates, to go along with mask mandates, and according to businesses in the city, it's shut everything down. Brian Mullin of the Local 718 Five Star Dive Bar on Bourbon Street told Fox 8 in New Orleans:

“It literally feels like they’ve turned a faucet off and the tourists stopped coming”

There are still some people coming to New Orleans. Fox 8 spoke to people from New Jersey, Texas, and Arkansas who were all visiting the city, but they all said the same thing. Everyone in their story said the same thing, no one is there. The city is empty.

So what does this mean for the businesses? Mullin from Local 718 Five Star Dive Bar said exactly what it means when talking to Fox 8:

“I had ten events scheduled in October on the balcony here. Everyone canceled. It just cost me $700,000” 

That's just in ten events over one month. Now factor in the lack of a crowd every day, and the basic weekend the bar would normally see. It's not a leap in logic to say that the bar is losing a million dollars right now.

So who's going to help?

The first time around, when COVID caused restrictions that shut businesses down, multiple levels of government stepped in with bailouts. From PPP Loans to stimulus packages, and enhanced unemployment benefits, there was something to help everyone. But for New Orleans, right now, there's nothing.

The federal PPP money dried up over a year ago. There's been no talk of a stimulus package for people at a federal, state, or local level. Governor John Bel Edwards personally ended the enhanced unemployment for the people of Louisiana early.

So where do these business owners go? How does the employee make their rent, pay their electric bill, or get food for the week? These questions have never been balanced out during this pandemic.

Even when stimulus packages were being set up, they were far too spread out on a calendar, and the amounts sent didn't cover the cost of living. The enhanced unemployment was only available to those who lost out on their job completely (sure, there were some smaller options for people who still had a job but lost time and finances, but they didn't get the whole thing).

Now we see how truly unfair this system is. The government will restrict you from making a living, but isn't willing to compensate you for it.

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