Community Development

Hudson and Veteran Initiatives

Louisiana’s Hudson and Veteran Initiatives are certification programs designed to help eligible Louisiana small businesses and Louisiana veteran-owned small businesses gain greater access to purchasing and contracting opportunities at the state government level. State agencies are encouraged to get quotes from and use qualified Hudson and Veteran certified companies whenever possible. Once certified, information on Hudson and Veteran certified companies is made available to state purchasing agents as well as prime contractors looking for certified subcontractors.

For small purchases of less than $15,000, state agencies can waive the requirement of getting additional quotes if a certified company submits a quote that is reasonable. In addition to this benefit, 10 percent of the total evaluation points can be added to a certified company’s bid on a Request for Proposal (RFP), and prime contractors who use a certified company as a subcontractor on a bid for an RFP are also eligible to receive additional percentage points on their bid.

Visit these pages on the Hudson Initiative and Veteran Initiative to find additional information and apply for these certification programs.

Economic Gardening

Economic Gardening takes an entrepreneurial approach to regional prosperity by offering something that can sometimes be more valuable than monetary support: information – strategic information – gathered with the guidance of and tailored for individual companies.LED has partnered with the National Center for Economic Gardening to provide virtual access to teams of highly skilled research specialists in areas including Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and Market Research. Qualifying Louisiana based companies are paired with these teams and provided with up to 35 hours of strategic research over the course of three to five weeks as they work quickly to deliver action-oriented information.Growing companies have a positive impact on the Louisiana economy and this program is designed to enhance that impact by providing the resources necessary for making better decisions while navigating the challenges associated with growth.To find more information on Economic Gardening assistance and eligibility visit

LED’s CEO Roundtables

CEO Round tables bring together groups of 15 to 18 key decision makers from Louisiana based small businesses 10 times over the course of the year for peer to peer learning and support through growth oriented, collaborative round table sessions.

These peer groups give executives the opportunity to discuss business practices and management strategies with like-minded business people who deal with similar growth challenges. The round table sessions support a trusting environment in which executives can safely explore business and personal issues with the guidance of experience facilitators, access to expert guest speakers and connection to small business resources.

For more information or to sign up for a reminder when the application period opens from February 1 to March 31, visit

Small and Emerging Business Development (SEBD) Program

The LED Small and Emerging Business Development (SEBD) Program is designed to help small businesses by providing managerial and technical assistance to small business owners to help them run, sustain and grow their businesses.The SEBD Program is delivered through LED partners who act as intermediaries throughout the state. Upon becoming SEBD certified, business owners meet with an intermediary who conducts a detailed assessment of their business and develops a plan of action based on that business’ primary and most pressing needs. After this assessment, the program can help the SEBD-certified business owner address those needs through cost sharing for entrepreneurial training or professional services such as marketing, accounting or industry specific assistance. The SEBD Program provides a ten year certification that allows small business owners to access continued support to help enhance their business knowledge and capacity.

LED’s Loan and Guaranty Program

Are you expanding? Do you need a loan for a new building? The Small Business Loan and Guaranty Program (SBLGP) aids small businesses with capital accessibility by providing loan guarantees to banks and other small business lenders in association with the federal State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). The program can provide guarantees for up to 75 percent of a loan with a minimum equity requirement of 15 to 20 percent for Louisiana domiciled businesses for eligible loan purposes.

From start-ups to building construction, the SBLGP can help. All that is required is the creation and/or retention of one job for loans under $100,000, or two or more jobs for loans greater than $100,000. Eligible loan types include lines of credit, startups, fixed asset purchases including equipment and FF&E, acquisitions, and the purchase or construction of a building (limited to 51 percent applicant occupancy). Loan types that are ineligible for the program include restaurants (except for franchises), bars and gaming businesses, real estate speculation, recreational, theme or amusement parks, and camping facilities.

For additional information on the process and eligibility or to contact one of our staff members visit our website at

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