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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.



Temporary Relief Fund Goal
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
Ineligible Recipients
  • Workers with full-time employment outside of the gig-economy
  • Workers domiciled outside of Orleans Parish
Grant Disbursement Mechanism
Funds will be disbursed via check to approved recipients.
Funding Source for Relief Fund
$100,000 to be committed by NOLABA, with room for $400,000+ of follow-on contributions. 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.