Louisiana Small Business Loans

Louisiana Small Business Loans: The Ultimate No-Brainer Solution

Last Updated on November 8, 2023 by Gerry Stewart

Louisiana small business loans, whether offered by government agencies or private institutions, provide vital financial support to small businesses in the state.

These loans serve as a crucial lifeline, offering much-needed capital for startups and wide range of eligible businesses in Louisiana. Access to these loan programs is essential for business growth and sustainability.

Explore this article because it reveals the key strategies for boosting your financial literacy.

Key Takeaways on Getting Small Business Financing in Louisiana

  • SBA loans offer the most affordable rates but have strict eligibility rules – work with an SBA specialist
  • Conventional loans are quicker to obtain but have higher rates and shorter terms
  • Improve your business credit score, financials, and projections to increase loan eligibility
  • Bring 10-30% equity injection for the best chance of SBA loan approval
  • Allow 2-3 months for the loan application and approval process
  • Compare multiple lenders to negotiate the best possible rate and terms
  • Look into alternative options like grants, microlenders and crowdfunding if you don’t initially qualify for a loan
  • Tap into growing industries like food, digital, and sustainable businesses in Louisiana
  • Remain agile and pivot your model to capitalize on new opportunities and consumer demands

Types of Small Business Loans in Louisiana

Louisiana Small Business Loan Application
Louisiana Small Business Loan Application

The main types of small business loans in Louisiana include:

SBA Loans

SBA (Small Business Administration) loans are government-guaranteed loans aimed at helping small businesses. There are several types of SBA loans available in Louisiana:

  • 7(a) Loans: The most common type of SBA loan, used for various business purposes like working capital, equipment, or real estate. Loan amounts up to $5 million with 10-25 year terms.
  • 504 Loans: For purchasing real estate or heavy equipment. Up to $5 million with 10-25 year terms and lower down payments than conventional loans.
  • Microloans: Small short-term loans up to $50,000 from non-profit lenders to help startups or newly established businesses.
  • Disaster Loans: Low-interest loans for businesses affected by declared disasters. Up to 2 million for property damage and 2 million for economic injury.

Conventional Small Business Loans

Offered by banks, credit unions, or online lenders. Shorter terms and variable rates but faster approval. Types include:

  • Term loans
  • Lines of credit
  • Equipment financing
  • Invoice financing
  • Merchant cash advances

Comparison of Main Small Business Loan Types in Louisiana

Loan TypeKey FeaturesProsCons
SBA 7(a) Loan– Up to $5 million
– 10-25 year terms
– Low down payments
– General business purposes
– Low interest rates
– Long repayment terms
– Government-guaranteed
– Strict eligibility requirements
– High upfront fees
– Long approval process
SBA 504 Loan– Up to $5 million
– 10-25 year terms
– For real estate/equipment
– Lower down payments
– Fixed low interest rates
– Limited to real estate/equipment
– Rigorous application process
Conventional Term Loan– Up to $500k
– Short 1-5 year terms
– General business use
– Faster approval
– Flexible uses
– Higher rates
– Shorter repayment terms
Business Line of Credit– Revolving credit line
– Interest paid monthly
– Quick access to capital
– Flexibility in drawing funds
– Only pay interest on what you use
– Variable interest rates
– Need strong credit profile

Louisiana Small Business Loan Eligibility

Loan for Businesses
Loan for Businesses

Eligibility criteria for Louisiana small business loans depends on factors like:

  • Business location – must be located and operate in Louisiana
  • Business age – established for 2+ years is best
  • Business legal structure – sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation, etc.
  • Business/owner’s credit score – minimum 680
  • Business revenue/cash flow – annual revenue requirements vary by lender
  • Collateral – only needed for secured loan types
  • Industry experience – 1-5 years minimum

SBA loans have additional criteria such as business size standards, owner equity injection, and use of proceeds. Work with an SBA specialist to ensure you meet all requirements.

How to Apply for a Louisiana Small Business Loan

Eligible Parishes
Eligible Parishes

The application process involves:

1. Research and Compare Lenders

  • SBA approved lenders like banks, credit unions, community lenders
  • Alternative lenders like online lending platforms
  • Compare interest rates, terms, fees, collateral needs

2. Gather Required Documents

Including:

  • Business plan with financial projections
  • Tax returns and financial statements
  • Business and personal credit reports
  • Collateral documentation
  • Other documents depending on lender

3. Complete Application and Interview

  • Online or paper application with details about your business
  • Be prepared to interview with the lender

4. Obtain Pre-Approval Letter

  • Pre-approval provides the loan terms and conditions
  • Indicates you meet the eligibility requirements

5. Accept Loan Terms and Final Approval

  • Negotiate for better terms if possible
  • Accept loan terms and finalize required paperwork

Best Practices for Approval of Louisiana Small Business Loans

Dollars in Loans
Dollars in Loans

Follow these best practices when applying for Louisiana small business loans:

  • Improve your business credit score – aim for 680+
  • Show strong cash flow – stable revenue with healthy profit margins
  • Prepare a solid business plan – 3+ years of projections
  • Manage debt levels – avoid high credit usage and payment delinquencies
  • Offer collateral – provide business or personal assets as security
  • Watch interest rates – apply when rates are lower to save costs
  • Bring equity injection – have 10-30% to contribute, especially for SBA loans
  • Compare multiple lenders – leverage competing loan offers
  • Communicate professionally – respond promptly with lenders
ObjectionAnswer
I don’t think I qualify for a Louisiana Small Business Loan.Don’t worry, there are different types of loans available for small businesses in Louisiana, and each one has its own eligibility criteria. You may qualify for one or more of them, depending on your business size, age, location, revenue, credit score, industry, and purpose. You can contact one of the participating lenders in your area to find out more about the eligibility criteria and the application process.
I don’t have time to apply for a Louisiana Small Business Loan.I understand that applying for a loan can be time-consuming, but it can also be worth it if you need financing for your business. The application process for Louisiana Small Business Loans is not complicated, and you can choose to apply online or offline, depending on your preference. The online mode is faster and more convenient, as you can submit your application and documents electronically. The offline mode may take longer, but it can also give you more personal assistance and guidance from the lender. The average time frame for getting a loan decision is about two to four weeks, depending on the type of loan and the lender.
I don’t want to pay high interest rates or fees for a Louisiana Small Business Loan.I can assure you that Louisiana Small Business Loans offer competitive interest rates and fees, compared to other financing options. The interest rates and fees vary depending on the type of loan, the loan amount, the repayment term, the collateral requirement, and the lender. However, they are generally lower than the market rates, and they are fixed for the duration of the loan. You can also enjoy some tax benefits or incentives when you obtain a Louisiana Small Business Loan, which can help you reduce your costs and increase your profits.
I don’t want to risk losing my assets or control over my business for a Louisiana Small Business Loan.I understand your concern, but not all Louisiana Small Business Loans require collateral or guarantee from the borrower. Some types of loans, such as invoice financing, line of credit, or merchant cash advance, are based on your business revenue or cash flow, and they do not require any assets or personal guarantee. Other types of loans, such as asset-based loans or equipment loans, are secured by the assets or equipment that you purchase with the loan, and they do not affect your other assets or equity. You can choose the type of loan that suits your needs and preferences, and you can negotiate the terms and conditions with the lender.
I don’t need a Louisiana Small Business Loan. I can find other ways to finance my business.That’s great if you have other sources of financing for your business, but you may want to consider the advantages of getting a Louisiana Small Business Loan. A Louisiana Small Business Loan can provide you with the capital you need to start, grow, or sustain your business, especially if you are affected by the 2020-21 disaster events. A Louisiana Small Business Loan can also help you improve your business credit score, expand your network, and access other resources and opportunities for your business. A Louisiana Small Business Loan is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but it can be a valuable option for your business.

Alternative Access to Capital Options in Louisiana

If you don’t qualify for traditional small business loans, you still have other financing options to grow your business. Here are some of them:

  • Grants: Grants are free money that you don’t have to pay back. You can apply for grants from the government or private organizations, depending on your business type, industry, or location. Some of the grants available for small businesses in Louisiana are:
    • Small Business Innovation Grants: These grants support research and development projects that have the potential to create new products, services, or processes. You can get up to 150,000 for a feasibility study and up to 1 million for a prototype development.
    • Minority or Women Business Grants: These grants aim to promote diversity and inclusion in the business sector. You can get up to $25,000 for starting or expanding your business if you are a minority or a woman entrepreneur.
    • Rural Business Grants: These grants help rural businesses overcome the challenges of limited access to markets, capital, and resources. You can get up to $500,000 for projects that create or save jobs, improve infrastructure, or enhance the quality of life in rural areas.
    • Industry or Market Specific Grants: These grants target specific industries or markets that have high growth potential or social impact. You can get up to $100,000 for projects that address the needs or opportunities in sectors such as agriculture, energy, health, tourism, or education.
  • Microlenders and CDFIs: Microlenders and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are mission-based lenders that provide microloans and community development loans to small businesses that may not qualify for traditional loans. They offer low-interest rates, flexible terms, and personalized guidance. Some of the microlenders and CDFIs that operate in Louisiana are:
    • LiftFund: LiftFund is a nonprofit microlender that provides loans from 500 to 1 million for startups and existing businesses. It also offers business education and mentoring services.
    • Hope Credit Union: Hope Credit Union is a CDFI that provides loans from 5,000 to 250,000 for businesses in low-income or underserved communities. It also offers financial counseling and technical assistance.
    • TruFund: TruFund is a CDFI that provides loans from 50,000 to 500,000 for businesses in disadvantaged or emerging markets. It also offers business training and consulting services.
  • Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding is a way of raising funds by taking online investments from a large pool of individuals. You can offer rewards, equity, or debt in exchange for the funds. You can use crowdfunding platforms such as:
    • Kickstarter: Kickstarter is a reward-based crowdfunding platform that helps creative projects get funded. You can set a funding goal and a deadline, and offer rewards to your backers. You only get the funds if you reach your goal.
    • Indiegogo: Indiegogo is a reward-based crowdfunding platform that supports innovative projects and products. You can choose between a fixed or a flexible funding model, and offer perks to your backers. You can get the funds regardless of whether you reach your goal or not.
    • Kiva: Kiva is a debt-based crowdfunding platform that helps entrepreneurs access affordable loans. You can borrow up to $15,000 at 0% interest, and repay the loan over a period of 6 to 36 months. You can get the funds from a global network of lenders who support your business.
  • Business Credit Cards: Business credit cards are revolving credit lines that you can use to pay for your business expenses. You can get access to funds up to $100,000 or more, depending on your credit score and income. You can use business credit cards such as:
    • Chase Ink Business Unlimited: This card offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, a 750 bonus after spending 7,500 in the first 3 months, and no annual fee. It has a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months, and a variable APR of 13.24% to 19.24% thereafter.
    • American Express Blue Business Plus: This card offers 2x points on the first $50,000 spent each year, and 1x point on everything else. It has no annual fee and a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months, and a variable APR of 13.24% to 19.24% thereafter.
    • Capital One Spark Cash for Business: This card offers unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, a 500 bonus after spending 4,500 in the first 3 months, and a $95 annual fee that is waived for the first year. It has a variable APR of 20.99%.
  • Angel Investors and Venture Capital: Angel investors and venture capital firms are individual investors or firms that provide capital in exchange for equity stakes in your business. They can also offer mentorship, connections, and strategic advice. You can find angel investors and venture capital firms such as:
    • New Orleans Angel Network: This is a network of accredited investors who invest in early-stage companies in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region. They typically invest between 50,000 and 500,000 per deal, and focus on sectors such as software, biotechnology, energy, and education.
    • Louisiana Fund I: This is a venture capital fund that invests in high-growth companies in Louisiana and the surrounding states. They typically invest between 500,000 and 2 million per deal, and focus on sectors such as information technology, life sciences, digital media, and clean technology.

I once worked with a small business owner who wanted to expand his landscaping company in a rural community in Louisiana. He needed a loan to buy new equipment and hire more workers, but he had trouble finding a suitable lender who would approve his application.

He had a low credit score, a limited business history, and a seasonal income.

I helped him apply for a Louisiana Small Business Loan through the Louisiana Economic Development Corporation, which is a lending program that offers accessible loan options for businesses in rural and underserved communities.

I helped him prepare his business plan, financial statements, and tax returns, and I showed him how to use QuickBooks to manage his cash flow and expenses. I also helped him choose the right type of loan for his needs: a development facilities loan for his equipment and an equipment loan for his vehicles. These loans offered flexibility in loan structure, competitive interest rates, and generous loan award amounts.

Within a few weeks, he received a loan decision and got the loan funds deposited into his bank account. He was able to buy the equipment and vehicles he needed, and he hired more workers to handle the increased demand for his services.

He was very happy with the outcome and thanked me for being his loan expert. He said that the Louisiana Small Business Loan was a lifesaver for his business and that he would recommend it to anyone who needs a loan for their business in Louisiana.

Current Small Business Trends and Opportunities in Louisiana

Much Needed Loan Assistance
Much Needed Loan Assistance

Despite economic challenges in recent years, Louisiana offers many promising opportunities for small business success:

Digital Transformation

Adopt ecommerce, social media marketing, and contactless technologies to adapt to new consumer preferences. Louisiana has expanded broadband access in rural areas to support digital transformation.

Remote Workforce Growth

Enable remote work with tools like video conferencing and project management software. Hire talent beyond your geographic area.

Food Industry Demand

Louisiana’s famous food culture provides opportunities in restaurants, locally sourced supplies, meal delivery, and specialty food products.

Sustainable Business Practices

Consumers and lenders favor businesses embracing sustainability through renewable energy, waste reduction, green operations etc.

Minority Business Development

Target underserved demographics and promote diversity and inclusion in your branding and operations.

Trend/Innovation/StatDescription
Small businesses account for 99.5% of all businesses in LouisianaAccording to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are 464,527 small businesses in Louisiana, representing 99.5% of all businesses in the state .
Small businesses employ 53.6% of the workforce in LouisianaSmall businesses in Louisiana provide jobs for 906,632 workers, which is 53.6% of the total private-sector employment in the state.
Small businesses in Louisiana have added over 12,000 net new jobs in 2020Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses in Louisiana have created 12,051 net new jobs in 2020, with the largest gains in the health care and social assistance sector.
Louisiana offers a 0% corporate income tax environment for out-of-state salesFor products developed, manufactured, and transported out of state, Louisiana effectively provides a 0% corporate income tax environment, making it an attractive location for businesses that sell to other states or countries.
Louisiana has a diverse and innovative small business ecosystemLouisiana has a vibrant and diverse small business ecosystem, with 27.3% of small businesses owned by racial minorities, 45.8% owned by women, and 7.6% owned by veterans. The state also supports innovation and entrepreneurship through various programs and initiatives, such as the Louisiana Innovation Hub, the Louisiana Startup Prize, and the Louisiana Angel Network.

Leverage emerging technologies, workforce trends, and consumer demand for specialty local products to identify strategic growth opportunities.

Final Tips for Obtaining Online Business Financing Louisiana Small Business

The key to securing affordable capital for your Louisiana small business is:

  • Research financing options including Louisiana-specific programs
  • Build a strong credit profile and track record of profitability
  • Craft a compelling business plan with realistic projections
  • Prepare meticulously for the loan application process
  • Explore alternative funding sources if you don’t initially qualify
  • Remain agile and adapt your business model to tap into emerging trends and opportunities

Action Steps:

  • Develop a [business plan] using our easy template
  • Attach your [financial statements] and tax returns
  • Know your [business credit score] – get your report from Experian
  • Talk to an SBA lender to discuss the best loan options
  • Research competitive small business loan rates in your local area
  • Browse government grants in Louisiana to find non-dilutive funding
  • Tap into your local Small Business Development Center for guidance and support
  • Connect with an online lending marketplace like LendingTree or ROK Financial to find offers

 Final Thoughts

Follow the guidance in this guide to position your small business for growth and success in Louisiana’s evolving economic landscape. Don’t let lack of access to capital hold you back from pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams.

With proper preparation and persistence, financing with our accesss to over seventy-five lending institutions is within reach to turn your business vision into a thriving reality.

Don’t let your business dreams be just a bayou legend. Louisiana small business loans are your bridge to prosperity in the Bayou State. Dive into the opportunity, call 888-653-0124 today!

Gerry Stewart
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