Each and every month there are various small business loan and/or free grant programs that open up in Louisiana that give priority to women owned businesses, minorities (including Black, Latino, or Asians), and other minority groups. The loans and grants can be issued by the government, non-profits, banks, credit unions, or other community lenders.
The funds can be used to start a business and/or grow an existing one. Each lender (or free grant program) will have their own application process in place. Find an ongoing list of Louisiana sources of funding below that are for minorities, women owned, and disadvantaged businesses. While many of the programs are located in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport and other cities, there is financial help, free business advice, and other support offered in all cities across the state.
Loan as well as free grant programs in Louisiana for small businesses
Find a current, ongoing list of Louisiana lenders or government programs for loans, grants, as well as other sources of funds. Many of these focus on women and/or minority owned companies, often called MWBE or BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). The most recent announcement will be at the top of the list, with older announcements and news releases towards the bottom.
Ongoing and Year Round
HOPE Credit Union and partners, including Goldman Sachs and Ford Motor, are combining resources to help black owned businesses in Louisiana and New Orleans. The Deep South Economic Collaborative is the program administered. There are low cost loans, mentoring, Technical Assistance programs and much more. The goal is to further progress black owned businesses and entrepreneurs. Read more. https://hopecu.org/deep-south-economic-mobility-collaborative/
Fund 17 is a non-profit based in New Orleans. They provide zero percent interest Kiva loans (to qualified small businesses as well as entrepreneurs). The goal is to help fund disadvantaged businesses in Louisiana using the peer to peer Kiva program. A focus is on women, Black, Latino, immigrant and veteran businesses among others. They help with financial empowerment, goal setting, operate an accelerator program and more. Read more. http://www.fund17.org/
New Orleans area small businesses can turn to the non-profit THRIVE. They try to offer support, with occasional loans that are the result of the Restoration Thrift Store, Racial Equity Grants, encourages companies and consumers to shop at minority owned businesses as well. A comprehensive menu of advice and assistance is offered. Read more. https://www.thrivenola.org/
Southeast area Louisiana MWBE owned businesses can turn to Good Work Network (Go.Be.). The regional non-profit has many services, including referrals as well as help in applying for free government grants, bank loans, and other financing. Programs include Level Up, incubators, networking, free business coaching and other assistance. Black, Immigrants, Hispanic, Women, and other disadvantaged businesses can apply here. https://gobe.org/
Tangipahoa Parish Black Business Network is for Black owned businesses. They will help, mentor, and support everyone from a vendor to small business owner, to a sole-proprietorship to a bigger company. The organization will offer classes, information on government contracts and grants, workshops, advice from established business owners and much more. The goal is to help Black owned businesses grow and find opportunities. Contact the United Way for details. https://www.unitedway.org/local/united-states/louisiana/southeast-louisiana-tangipahoa
Several lenders are offering additional PPP loans as part of the CARES Act. The funds, or government grants, are for small businesses in the state. The number of employees needs to be under 300 and the basis needs to have lost revenue due to COVID. Find one lender here. https://www.communitybankofla.bank/Borrow/PPP
The state Recovery Program is making funding more accessible. Minority, Veteran, Black, and Female owned businesses (among others) will now have an easier time in getting a free grant from the state of Louisiana. The state has simplified and is taking a more aggressive approach in distributing funds to small businesses, startups and disadvantaged businesses. Funds can be used for rent, inventory, and other bills, including online websites. Call 1 (888) 795-4947.
Minority, women, and veteran owned businesses in Louisiana have until the end of September to apply for free grants from the State of Louisiana Recovery Program. Up to $40 million is being offered throughout the state to qualified applicants, in aggregate. Priority is given to startups as well as businesses that did not receive any other federal government financial assistance to date. https://www.louisianamainstreet.com/
Applications for $15,000 small business free grants opens Tuesday – Louisiana Main Street Recovery Program funded through CARES Act – https://www.wdsu.com/article/applications-for-dollar15000-small-business-grants-opens-tuesday/33434067#
By Jon McNamara