Micro Lending Program
Tillage Construction, Baton Rouge
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Micro Lending Program

The Micro Lending Program (MLP) is designed to provide access to capital to small businesses, for smaller financing needs, working capital and financing for startups. The MLP will provide access to credit to entrepreneurs in underserved communities across Louisiana and will allow qualified lenders to evaluate and structure SSBCI eligible loans to meet the needs of Louisiana small business owners. It is a loan participation program structured as a revolving loan fund whereby the participating lenders will directly lend to the borrower, with loan proceeds used to either help with the working capital needs or equipment/inventory acquisition for start-up or expansion projects.

●      Minimum Loan Amount: $1,000
●      Maximum Loan Amount: $100,000

*Please note: SSBCI has been authorized for seven years and is in its early stages. The list of participating equity funds, and the process for applying, will evolve in the coming months as the program matures. This site will be updated as new Micro Lenders are added and other program changes occur. To receive email updates about the latest SSBCI news and information, click here and check the SSBCI box. If you have a question for the Louisiana SSBCI team, email [email protected] or call 833.457.0531.


Eligibility

  • Authorized to conduct business in Louisiana and maintains an office in Louisiana
  • 100 employees or less
  • Must create at least one permanent job
  • Funding requests for an eligible business purpose that  includes, but is not limited to, start-up costs, working capital, business procurement, franchise fees, equipment, inventory, as well as the purchase, construction, renovation or tenant improvements of an eligible place of business that is not for passive real estate investment purposes. The definition of business purpose excludes activities that relate to acquiring or holding passive investments such as commercial real estate ownership, the purchase of securities; and lobbying activities as defined in Section 3(7) of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, P.L. 104-65, as amended.

Ineligible businesses and purposes:

  • Restaurants,  grills, cafes, fast food operations, motorized vehicle, trailer, curb-side, sidewalk or street vender food operations that have been in business less than 2 years
  • Bars, saloons and other businesses established for the principal purpose of selling or distributing alcohol
  • Gaming or gambling
  • Pyramid sales
  • Financial services
  • Speculative real estate
  • Owner to owner buyouts
  • Refinancing

Program Rules

All incentive program rules are in the Louisiana Administrative Code maintained by the Office of the State Register.


Application Process

  • Applicants may contact the participating lender of their choosing and request an MLP application.
  • Applicant completes the lender’s loan application and provides any supporting application documents requested.
  • The lender completes underwriting and structures the loan.
  • The lender submits the full loan package to LED for review.
  • After review of the application packet by the appropriate committee, the lender is notified of the decision.
  • If approved, the lender coordinates the loan closing and disburses funds to the applicant.
  • The lender provides LED with the executed closing package in accordance to the program agreement.

Providers

Lenders must apply for and be approved by the Louisiana Economic Development Corporation Board for participation in SSBCI’s Micro Lending Program (MLP). To date, LEDC has approved six lenders for participation in the program, one of which has granted LED permission to share the following contact information with prospective borrowers:   

NOLABA

  • SSBCI Contact: Lynnette White-Colin, Sr. Vice President, Small Business Growth
  • Phone: (504) 934-4562
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: NOLABA.org 

The Micro Lending Program provider approval process remains open, with additional applications to be considered going forward. As new lenders are accepted into the program and grant LED permission to promote their participation, their contact information and website links will be added. Lenders wishing to participate in the SSBCI Micro Lending Program may contact LED for more information at [email protected] or 833.457.0531.


FAQs

Q: What is a microloan?
A: The Micro Lending Program provides loans up to $100,000 to help small businesses start up and expand. The average microloan is about $13,000. LED provides funds to establish revolving loan funds with qualified lenders, which are experienced in lending as well as technical assistance.

Q: Is my business eligible for a microloan?
A: To be eligible, a business must be located in Louisiana and have less than 100 employees. Some types of businesses are NOT eligible. For more information, view the ELIGIBILITY tab.

Q: How do I use a microloan?
A:  Microloans can be used for a variety of purposes that help small businesses expand. Use them when you need less than $100,000 to rebuild, re-open, repair, enhance or improve your small business. Examples include:

  • Working capital
  • Inventory
  • Supplies
  • Furniture
  • Fixtures
  • Machinery
  • Equipment
  • Startup financing

Q: How do I apply for a microloan?
A: Contact a MLP participating lender. MLP participants make all credit decisions and set all terms for your microloan.

Q: How do I get a list of participating lenders?
A: See the information in the PROVIDERS dropdown.

Q: What if my current lender is not on the participating lenders list?
A:
Any Louisiana insured depository institution, insured credit union or CDFI can participate in this program. Please have your lender contact us to see about becoming a participating lender.

Q: What are the microloan terms?
A: The Interest rates, maturity, collateral and other loan terms are negotiated between the borrower and the lender.

Q: What do I need to apply?
A: Individual requirements will vary based on the lender’s credit policy.

Q: Can I refinance existing debt?
A: No. Proceeds from an MLP loan cannot be used to pay existing debts.