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  • Writer's pictureStaff @ LPR

New Federal Funding Fuels Innovation and Small Business Growth in Louisiana

Louisiana Economic Development (LED) has secured a second round of federal funding for the Louisiana Innovation Retention Grant Program, aimed at keeping Louisiana-grown startups in the state. This program, established by the Louisiana Legislature in 2022, provides supplementary state support for research-focused small businesses that have previously received federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants. Eligible businesses can receive awards of up to $100,000.

LED Secretary Susan Bourgeois emphasized the program's significance, stating, "Economic development in Louisiana is as much about supporting existing businesses as it is about attracting new businesses here. The Innovation Retention Grant Program helps to ensure that startups made in Louisiana stay in Louisiana."

The program aims to:

  • Retain STEM startups and their workers in Louisiana.

  • Demonstrate the state's support for business innovation.

  • Increase investment in Phase I SBIR research, enhancing competitiveness for Phase II funds.

  • Encourage the growth of high-quality, locally owned technology businesses throughout the state.

In parallel, the Louisiana Legislature concluded its session with several victories for small businesses. According to NFIB State Director Leah Long, the session was crucial for Louisiana’s small businesses. Long said,“Inflation continues to drive up the cost of doing business statewide, underscoring the importance of lawmakers passing legislation to ease the financial pressures on Main Street businesses.”

 Long also highlighted significant legislative victories, including:

  • HB 337: Allows injured parties to sue insurance companies directly.

  • HB 611: Helps homeowners’ insurance providers manage risks.

  • SB 323: Reduces costs by allowing policyholders to resolve claims more efficiently.

Small business owners are also urging Governor Landry to sign additional bills:

  • HB 423: Eliminates the requirement for courts to award 40% of the difference between the billed amount and the amount paid.

  • SB 84: Entitles defendants to recover attorney fees and costs if a final judgment is at least 25% less than the offer of judgment.

  • SB 355: Provides for transparency and disclosure of third-party litigation funding agreements.

With new federal funding for the Louisiana Innovation Retention Grant Program and recent legislative victories, Louisiana is set to experience significant economic transformation, boosting the growth of local startups and providing vital support for small businesses across the state.

To qualify, applicants must be for-profit, privately owned businesses headquartered in Louisiana that have received federal notice of a Phase I or Phase II SBIR or STTR award after June 15, 2022. Applications will be accepted from June 1 through June 30, 2024.


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