Louisiana Launches New Innovation Retention Grant Program Offering Financial Support for Qualified Small Businesses

BATON ROUGE, La. – LED has launched a new program that encourages research-focused start-ups to keep their businesses rooted in Louisiana by making supplementary state funding available to recipients of federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants.

The Louisiana Innovation Retention Grant (IRG) program offers awards of up to $100,000 for eligible businesses. Applications will be accepted starting Tuesday (Aug. 15, 2023).

“Growing and diversifying our economy requires both attracting established businesses to Louisiana and supporting the bold entrepreneurs who start new businesses here,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “The funding that the Legislature authorized to establish the Innovation Retention Grant program is money well invested in making sure that future-focused businesses born in Louisiana, stay in Louisiana.”

Established by the Louisiana Legislature in 2022, the IRG program seeks to:

  • Help Louisiana support and retain STEM start-up companies and their talented workers.
  • Demonstrate the state’s support for business innovation by supplementing the federal research dollars received by Louisiana small businesses.
  • Increase the investment in research conducted during Phase I of the federal SBIR program, making Louisiana small businesses more competitive for Phase II funds.
  • Encourage the establishment and growth of high-quality, locally owned and operated technology businesses throughout the state.

“As founder and chair of the STEM Innovation Caucus, I am thrilled that this new small business support program is launching in Louisiana,” said Rep. Matthew Willard of District 97 (Orleans Parish), who co-authored the legislative package that authorized creation of the IRG program with Rep. Thomas Pressly of District 6 (Bossier and Caddo parishes). “The caucus worked diligently to pass a package of bills that will create new jobs, help diversify our economy and support entrepreneurs and innovators throughout our state. This bipartisan effort is a great example of what we can do together to move Louisiana’s economy forward.”

To be eligible, an applicant must be a for-profit, privately owned business based in Louisiana that received federal notice of a Phase I or Phase II SBIR/STTR award after June 15, 2022. Grants will be divided into two equal amounts disbursed over a two-year period.

Access detailed program information, FAQs and a downloadable application on LED’s website, OpportunityLouisiana.com/business-incentives/innovation-retention-grant.

About LED
Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more vibrant economy. It is the only state agency in the U.S. accredited by the International Economic Development Council, boasting award-winning programs like LED FastStart, a longtime national leader in customized workforce development. LED also supports a wide range of higher ed partnerships that Business Facilities magazine recently credited for Louisiana’s ranking as the No. 1 Tech Talent Pipeline in the U.S. In 2022, LED attracted 53 new economic development projects representing 18,137 new direct, indirect and retained jobs and $20.7 billion in new capital investment. Explore how LED cultivates jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana and employers of all sizes at OpportunityLouisiana.com.

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