Where Do I Start to Get a Louisiana Business Loan?
If you own a small business in Louisiana, you’re in good company. Over 424,000 small businesses employing more than 890,000 people are active in the state. Close to 40 percent of residents work for companies with 99 employees or less, according to the Small Business Administration Office of Advisory.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that life as a small business owner necessarily runs smooth in the Pelican State. Louisiana is, unfortunately, one of the states that needs improvement in small business investing per capita.
However, you can increase the likelihood of being approved for funding by following these tips.
When seeking funding for your business, read the eligibility criteria carefully before applying. Unless you fit all of them, move on.
Be prepared to go outside your comfort zone. Your neighborhood bank that you are used to dealing with may not provide the best rates or terms for this particular case. Let’s look at some options for finding the money you need for your business.
Micro-Enterprise Business Loans
The Arc of Louisiana offers interest-free loans through its Micro Enterprise Business Loan Program. To qualify for up to $1,000.00 in loan funding, you must be either disabled or a senior who is starting a new business.
Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation
Individuals working as creatives or operating small cultural businesses in Greater New Orleans or Acadiana can apply for loans under the Louisiana Culturepreneur Fund. The maximum amount of loan funds available is $10,000.00 over a three-year term.
If you are applying for a loan as an individual, you will need to agree to receive a minimum of 12 hours of technical assistance or training during the first 18 months of the loan period.
Louisiana Economic Development Small Business Loan and Guaranty Program
The Louisiana Economic Development (LED) Loan and Guaranty Program for small businesses doesn’t lend money the money to you directly. Instead, it guarantees up to 75% of the loan to a bank or other small business lender for you.
No application fees are charged to apply for funding under the program, and loan guarantees may be given in amounts from $5,000.00-$1.5 million. As the borrower, you would need to have 15-20% equity in the business to qualify for loan funding.
The eligibility rules for this program also require successful borrowers to create or retain one new permanent job when borrowing $100,000 or less. If you’re interested in borrowing more than 100K, you need to commit to creating two permanent jobs.
LiftFund (formerly known as (ACCION) Louisiana is a CDFI (community development financial institution). It provides loans of $500.00-$1 million to small businesses. On approval you can borrow money for:
Buying a business
Purchasing real estate
Supplies or inventory
Once you apply for a loan through LiftFund, it takes a couple of days for your file to be reviewed. If you are approved for funding under this program, the loan terms are flexible to reflect your business’ needs.
Consider applying for Louisiana SBA business loans if you have applied for conventional funding and have been turned down. The SBA 7(a) is meant for business owners who have exhausted other means of obtaining financing. The program provides loan guarantees to qualified business owners (credit and equity requirements apply).