There are numerous programs offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Louisiana Economic Development (LED) to help small businesses grow and thrive. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs are unaware of the opportunities available to their business. Below are three innovative programs that all companies should be aware of:
Small and Emerging Business Development Program
First, the Small and Emerging Business Development (SEBD) program is operated by Louisiana Economic Development and provides certified small businesses with developmental assistance including entrepreneurial training, marketing, computer skills, accounting, business planning, legal, industry specific and many other forms of business assistance. The program also offers guidance on eligibility for the Bonding Assistance Program, additional guaranty support under the LEDC Loan Guaranty Program, and consideration for bidding on selective service or product purchases by state agencies. Of particular interest to many entrepreneurs is that the program provides 50% of funding for approved professional services projects, including marketing, business consulting, and legal fees. Does your business need help forming an LLC and drafting an operating agreement? How about help negotiating a contract with a major vendor? The SEBD program may be for you.
Economic Gardening Initiative
Second, LED’s Economic Gardening Initiative provides Louisiana-based small businesses with accelerated technical assistance and research. This assistance includes review of core strategies, including threats and opportunities, business strategies and niche markets; business development opportunities through market research and qualified sales leads; and improved internet presence. The initiative assists with increasing company visibility and credibility within the market and offers advice on how to best use technology to connect with customers. Is your business considering the viability of a new market? Does your business desire to expand its e-commerce volume? The Economic Gardening Initiative may be able to help.
Tax Credits for Small Businesses
Finally, what would a blog article on innovative programs for small business be if I didn’t discuss tax credits? If your business is looking to expand, make new capital investments, hire more people, or even simply trying to find a better way to do something, LED may have tax credits that can help. What business wouldn’t want 20%+ back on investments they are preparing to make anyway?
For more information on programs that can help small and emerging businesses, see Louisiana Economic Development, the Small Business Development Center, SCORE, and the Small Business Administration.
Allen & Gooch is providing this legal update for informational purposes only. This article should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion as to any specific facts or circumstances. You should consult your own attorney concerning your particular situation and any specific legal questions you may have.