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Small business owners could be eligible for money through federal initiative

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – Small business owners could see some money start to head their way thanks to federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan.

The money is going to come from the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) which was refunded after President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan back in 2021.

Small businesses make up a large chunk of the businesses here in Louisiana, more than 90% in fact. And over 50% of people work for one of them.

While on a call with the White House on Tuesday, Dec. 6, Gov. John Bel Edwards explained how Louisiana will be getting $113 million out of the $10 billion allocated across the country.

“That is a tremendous boost to economic resilience and diversification and those are two things that we are super focused on here in Louisiana. In particular, because it gives us a historic opportunity in those underserved urban and rural communities that have struggled,” said Gov. Edwards.

After a pandemic that brought on problem after problem and a horrific wave of hurricanes, two of which were the strongest on record, some small businesses still have yet to catch up with the competition.

“We’re confident that we can get these dollars into the hands of Louisiana business owners and entrepreneurs as efficiently and quickly as possible,” Gov. Edwards explained.

Folks can start applying toward the end of the first quarter of 2023. But keep in mind, not everyone is eligible because this is not a federal grant.

“What a good candidate might look like is those that are available that want to participate in venture capital and then on the other side, those entrepreneurs out there that have a great idea that they believe to be market ready that want to talk to investors,” said Secretary Don Pierson with the Louisiana Economic Development Corporation.

If you are eligible for the money, there will be some guidelines on how to spend it. To view all the specifics and where to apply, click HERE and choose one of the programs on the sidebar.

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