We have multiple opportunities for help listed here- everything from grants and loans to unemployment information, marketing assistance, hotline advice and more. Please scroll through to see what is right for you and/or your business.

Louisiana Small Business Loans through LED- Louisiana Loan Portfolio Guaranty Program

The State of Louisiana has committed $50m to  provide loans of up to $100,000 to Louisiana small businesses impacted by COVID-19 and who have 100 or fewer employees. The program will be run by Louisiana Economic Development through partner banks. A list of those banks will be posted here by Friday, April 3,2020. To help Louisiana businesses sustain operations, the loans will require no payments for 180 days and carry below-market interest rates of no more than 3.5%. Read the full story at BusinessReport.com.

FAQs Answered Here.

SBA Small Business Loan Program

This federal program is in addition to the loan program offered by the State of Louisiana LED.

  • The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
  • These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
  • The SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

There is also an Economic Injury Disaster Advance Loan of $10,000 for businesses experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.

SBA Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. You will apply for this through a bank or credit union. See the names of those who are participating in this program here. Click on ‘Find a Lender’ and put in your zip code.

Read the FAQ sheet on this program.

City/Chamber Set Up a Help Desk to Provide Guidance

Shreve.biz is here to help you!
Click on the link, or call 318-230-7891 to go to the Shreveport/Caddo-area Help Desk. Shreve.biz provides free one-on-one counseling to business owners and managers; important help in walking through the grants, loans and other rapidly changing information coming from local, state and federal officials.

New Local Gift Card Site to Help Small Businesses

The Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce and the City of Shreveport have launched a giftcard website to assist local small businesses affected by COVID-19. Businesses can enroll to sell gift cards here or email carole@shreveportchamber.org.

Gift cards can be purchased here. 

Unemployment Benefits

How to Apply for Unemployment if your job has been eliminated due to Covid-19.

If any of the following situations apply to you, you may be eligible for unemployment through the Louisiana Workforce Commission:

  • Your work hours have been reduced because of lack of work due to Coronavirus.
  • Your workplace closes temporarily, and you are not being compensated.
  • You have been instructed not to go to work, and you are not being paid while at home.

You can file a claim at www.louisianaworks.net

If your work hours have been reduced, partial benefits could be available to you up to a maximum of $247 a week. You must report any earnings for the week that you work, even if you’ve not yet been paid. Include all income, commissions, tips and gratuities. Report the gross amount before deductions. These earnings would be factored into the amount of unemployment benefits paid to you for that week.

A number of factors determine eligibility for benefits. The LWC reviews each case separately.

Free Counseling Hotline Available

Feeling overwhelmed and need to talk? The State of Louisiana has set up a COVID-19 Counseling Hotline. This free service offers a friendly ear and good advice at 1-800-310-7977.

Funding Programs & Business Support

The Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses. Learn more.

Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits through their Small Business Grants Program. Learn more.

JPMorgan pledged $50 million global philanthropic commitment to support communities and people hit hardest by this public health crisis, including $2 million to existing nonprofit partners and $8 million to assist small businesses. Learn more.

Kabbage launched an online hub to help boost sales for U.S small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including a system through which businesses can sell gift cards to consumers for use at a later date. Learn more.

The James Beard Foundation is launching a fund that will be gathering support from corporate, foundation, and individual donors to provide micro-grants to independent food and beverage businesses in need. Learn more. 

MainVest, a crowdfunding platform, announced its new Main Street Initiative: a $2,000, zero-interest, 120 day loan for restaurants or other brick and mortars affected by the shutdown. Learn more.

Opportunity Fund, which specializes in money lending to small businesses owned by women, immigrants and people of color, is collaborating with investors and nonprofits to put together a coronavirus relief fund that will provide grants and low-interest rate loans. Learn more.