Small business is the lifeblood of the Lafayette economy.
The abundance of existing small businesses and annual new startups speaks to the entrepreneurial spirit of Lafayette Parish. LEDA is here to support our small and minority business community.
It is small businesses— existing businesses growing with the parish and new businesses relocating to or starting up in the area— that keep Lafayette’s economy fresh, vibrant and diversified. LEDA’s services complement those provided by other local business development agencies and when used in tandem can get a small business off to a good start, helping to keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive and well in Acadiana. Lafayette entrepreneurs have honed in on filling niche markets here in Lafayette and across the South. As the affluence of our population has grown, our consumers have demanded more high-end, “big-city” services and it’s local entrepreneurs who have stepped up to the plate to deliver.
19,656 businesses in Lafayette Parish have fewer than 10 employees.
LEDA is here to make sure you know about the programs that can bring your business to the next level.
LEDA offers business counseling, needs assessments, and referral services. Development, education, and training opportunities are available to small businesses through LEDA’s Business Life Cycle, the Opportunity Machine’s DIY Marketing and Intro to Startups, and from the Small Business Development Center and the LEED Center at UL Lafayette.
Several federal, state, and local organizations provide certifications for minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, and disadvantaged businesses. These certifications can provide access to specific business development and government contracting opportunities.
Access to Capital
There are state and federal loan programs in place that provide financial assistance with favorable terms to qualified small businesses. From LED’s Small Business Loan and Guaranty Program to the SBA’s 7(a) and small loans from UpLFT Capital Access, business owners can borrow funds to cover real estate, equipment, or working capital and inventory.
Incentives & Workforce
There are several resources available in Louisiana that can give businesses operating here an advantage. Louisiana offers competitive tax incentives to businesses who are creating jobs and workforce training assistance programs—IWTP and SBET. LEDA offers an annual workshop highlighting the programs and local training providers.