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Small Business Grants In Louisiana

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

If your small business has suffered substantial revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022, you may qualify for a Louisiana Business Grant. Local communities, small business owners, sole proprietorships, faith-based organizations, eligible nonprofits, rural communities, and families can all benefit from these grant funds in the absence of affordable financing. In providing information and resources, we strive to encourage small business development, community development, and family development in Louisiana through various business programs that may include business counseling, business accelerator programs, and more.

There are $15.25 billion dollars in grant funds in Louisiana at the federal level, as well as $11.53 billion dollars in additional funding sources from the local government that go into Louisiana economic development projects. The additional funding may also go towards COVID-19 public health emergency efforts, local government contracting projects, and technical assistance services. Additionally, some nonprofit organizations and rural cooperatives also offer affordable funding and direct funding to rural and tribal governments in specific areas and for specified purposes such as:

  • Disaster recovery
  • Orderly development
  • Community development lending
  • Training of emergency personnel and emergency responders
  • Procurement of emergency vehicles
  • Acquisition of facilities
  • Housing and Urban Development
  • Balanced transportation
  • Educational programs
  • Broadband services
  • Expansion of telephone service
  • Cooperative Development Centers
  • Rural Utilities Service
  • Administrative services
  • Water resources projects
  • Education assistance programs
  • Finding reliable water sources
  • Rural water systems
  • Community development organizations
  • Agricultural water management
  • Workforce development activities
  • Clean water projects
  • Assistance to community development
  • Essential community facilities

These grants also help combat the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic and create employment opportunities to stimulate growth. As a result, Louisiana's economic development is based primarily on small businesses and large profit corporations, which receive government grants on an annual basis. A total of 81,541 businesses are located in Louisiana, which has more than 30,000 farms. 

Salaries and payroll alone are paid by the state of Louisiana to the tune of more than $61.39 billion. The state also witnesses more than 19,524 filings for bankruptcy on an annual basis. A business grant from the federal government cannot be used to start a new business or expand an existing business. However, Louisiana grants to business owners who wish to start or expand their businesses need not be repaid to the government. Grants, however, do not have a federal tax-exempt status, so they are taxable just like income. Small business grants are a good way to fund your business, which is why you may want to consider applying.

What Is A Grant?

Public agencies typically award grants to develop new products, services, or projects. In addition to not having to repay the money, grant programs are beneficial for small businesses. Grants, including the processes of securing and administering them, can provide low-cost growth, despite the time and effort involved. In order to apply for a grant, you have to undergo a complex and lengthy process. Small business grants require you to demonstrate your financial capability and that your business meets the requirements of the lending body. There are many grant programs offered by local governments, foundations, and charities that create economic opportunities for small businesses. Some grants even offer valuable expertise to the winning individuals and companies during the feasibility phase as well as the implementation phase. Most of the grants are dispatched on an annual basis and work on a first-come, first-served basis and provide direct aid to communities impacted the most by a host of issues.  

Grants For Small Businesses

Grants are available to Louisiana residents for a wide range of purposes. If you own a small business, the following list of small business grants in 2022 may interest you. This list is updated on an annual basis to account for new programs and the ones that have been discontinued. The grant-awarding bodies include international nonprofit organizations,  

Digitalundivided's BREAKTHROUGH Program

In the BREAKTHROUGH Program, Digitalundivided provides affordable funding and helps founders gain a deeper understanding of their customers, marketing, networking, and startup funding. A $5,000 grant, a mentor, and more will be provided to each applicant who receives acceptance into the program. To qualify, you must be located in New Orleans or the surrounding area, have a website and mobile application, and have been in business for at least a year.

Founders must meet the following requirements to qualify for the program:

  • Identify as female
  • Belong to the Black or Latino community
  • Age requirement of 18 years or older
  • Register your business at least a year in advance
  • Own majority stake in an established business with traction
  • Invest in technology (website or mobile app) to enhance your business
  • Minimum revenue of $50,000 per year is required for your business

The following will be provided to selected founders:

  • $5,000 in grant money
  • Business mentors
  • Understanding the resources and tools required to establish banking relationships
  • Industry leaders provide insights on growth marketing strategies, customer analytics, and startup funding in a series of sessions

Applications must be submitted by May 3, 2022.

Deep South Economic Collaborative

Founded by Hope Enterprise Corporation, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, seven cities, and nine historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), the Deep South Economic Mobility Collaborative (DSEMC) invests in the power of small businesses in the Deep South. To stabilize and strengthen businesses and communities devastated by the economic crisis, this innovative collaborative was formed with additional support from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, Ford Foundation, and MacKenzie Scott.

This collaborative offers a bouquet of services including business counseling and education classes to equip Black small business owners and other underserved entrepreneurs with the tools and knowledge to stabilize and grow their businesses.

As part of the Collaborative, the following services are offered:

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses: Business education classes, philanthropic support, and lending capital.

Partner Cities and Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Procurement opportunities and technical assistance (development of business plans, compiling financial statements)

HOPE: Loans For Small Business

All partners have unique skills and years of experience, and they are passionate about making their communities more economically prosperous. The Collaborative provides loans, business education classes, and technical assistance to Black small business owners and other underserved entrepreneurs.

NORA’s Small Business Assistance Grant Program

NORA's Small Business Assistance Grant Program seeks applications to support and enhance revitalization efforts happening along 29 commercial corridor segments in low- to moderate-income areas, including those identified in NORA's Commercial Corridor Gap Financing (CCGF) and Façade RENEW (FR) programs.

Through this grants program, recoverable grants (capital financing) will be provided to small business enterprises that have been in operation between January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2021, and who currently occupy commercial spaces or storefronts in targeted commercial corridors. According to the application, the grant amount amounts of up to $25,000 will be determined based on eligible planned expenditures.

Businesses must operate in retail spaces along low- and moderate-income (LMI) commercial corridors. The types of businesses that are ineligible include home-based businesses, pawn shops, adult bookstores, adult performance venues, payday loan stores, branch banks, corporate-owned franchises, racetracks, and bail bondsmen's shops, as well as hotels, motels, short-term rentals, institutions, and hospitals.

From February 21, 2022, to March 25, 2022, NORA's website will offer the initial Part A application for determining business applicant eligibility.

STEP Grants

Through STEP Grants, Louisiana small businesses can generate new export revenues and preserve or create jobs.  In addition to participating in virtual and in-person trade shows, trade missions, international trade, and export training workshops, eligible small businesses can also receive reimbursements for expenses related to shipping sample products, compliance testing, fee services offered by the US Commercial Service, and developing internationally-oriented websites and marketing material. With the program, eligible expenses can be reimbursed at 90%, up to a maximum of $7,500 per company.

Companies must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be a small business as defined by the SBA
  • A minimum of one year of business experience
  • Businesses must be based in Louisiana and be for-profit organizations 
  • Trying to find new markets for exports or new ways to export
  • Develop an export strategy (export plan)
  • Identify and understand export costs
  • Having at least 51% US content or an export-ready US company seeking to export US goods or services
  • Be allowed to do business with the government without being barred 

Under these grants, eligible businesses can claim the following reimbursable expenses:

  • The cost of exhibiting/renting a booth at a trade show (virtual and physical)
  • The fee for a virtual or in-person trade mission
  • Online and in-person entrepreneur training courses on exporting
  • Coronavirus pandemic prevention measures
  • Services provided by the US Department of Commerce for a fee
  • Expenses related to travel, such as airfare, lodging, and meals
  • Media and marketing materials for export promotion
  • Fees associated with e-commerce and websites (internationally-focused)
  • Costs associated with compliance testing
  • Activities and expenses approved by the board  

SBIR and STTR Grants

Small businesses that work with the federal government on research and economic development activities are eligible to apply for SBIR and STTR grants worth up to $250,000. A business must possess technology that can be commercialized and meet specific government requirements in order to qualify for SBIR and STTR grants. SBIR and STTR grants offer you the chance to earn more money if your business performs well.

You must be based in the United States and have no more than 500 employees to be eligible for SBIR and STTR funding.

Fundera Zach Grant

Fundera Zach Grants are annual grants awarded to small businesses that award $2,500 each. The only requirement is that you upload a three-minute video explaining your business idea, why you started your business and its expected economic impact. Documentation and financial statements won't need to be filled out copiously. You can stand a good chance of winning the grant if your video entry is creative, original, and of high quality.

Your video entry must be posted to your YouTube channel, emailed to Fundera, and shared on social networks if you wish to apply to Fundera Zach Grant.

Amber Grant for Women

You should check out the Amber Grant if you are a woman in Louisiana running a business. Women-owned businesses are awarded $10,000 each month through the Amber Grant. You automatically qualify to win an additional $25,000 at the end of the year if you're selected to receive a monthly grant, so you could potentially win up to $35,000 in grant funding. There is no application fee for Amber Grants, and the program is open to businesses across the country.


Small businesses can find a ton of new grants through Louisiana GrantWatch. Despite not being exclusively for small businesses, this site compiles grants from local, state, and federal agencies. Louisiana GrantWatch is a great resource for finding new grants as well as finding a grant writer to help you craft stellar grant proposals for small businesses. Applying for a grant does not require much more than filling out a few questions about your business and why you need the money. 

There are 28,420 grants and funding opportunities listed in this Louisiana Grant Directory. A paid subscription allows subscribers access to the information. If you subscribe monthly, it costs $18 per week, and if you subscribe annually, it costs $199. As a free member, you will get brief details about grants, but you cannot apply for them.

Considering expanding your funding search beyond Louisiana? Learn about the grants available for small businesses in Connecticut in our latest blog post. Equip yourself with the knowledge to find the right grant opportunity for you, no matter the state.

Are you interested in learning more about different grants and programs that can help you with your living situation? Check out the rest of Gov Relations’ blog section today!

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.
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