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Small Business Loans in Louisiana (2021 Update)
America is one of the top countries in the world for entrepreneurship. While Louisiana may not be the biggest state in the U.S., it has an astounding 350,000 small businesses. Owners of these businesses often operate themselves without the help of staff. Taking out a small business loan is a necessity for most owners who need to get their ideas off the ground and create a company that thrives.
What is a Small Business Loan?
A small business loan is different from any other loan on the market. These loans are made specifically for business owners who need a large amount of money. The loan will be tied up into the capital of your company, which ensures that you aren't liable for paying it back if your business should fail. Banks and lenders can be quite picky when approving loan applications. They may only approve cases for highly successful companies or businesses that have a lot of growth potential.
Should You Take Out a Business Loan in Louisiana?
If you've recently started a company or are looking to create one, you may benefit from taking out a small business loan. The loan provides you with a lump sum of cash that you can use for any business-related expenditures. Keep in mind that most lenders won't give out loans to brand new companies that are less than a year old, as these are seen as a liability to the bank. Other lenders may avoid giving out money to niche and risky market companies that have a high chance of failure. Depending on your approval rating, you can get a loan that ranges from just a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars.
Applying, Interest Rates and Repayment
You'll need all of the necessary business documentation to support your claims when applying for a loan. The bank will do a thorough credit report on both the owner and the business, so any delinquencies that are found can be held against you. The lender will weigh the risks of your business with the positives to determine if you're a viable candidate for the loan. Approval should take about 45 days from start to finish. Once you've been approved for the loan, you'll need to repay it in the form of monthly installments. The current interest rate attached to business loans is anywhere from 5.5 to 8.5 percent. The lower your interest rate, the more affordable your payments will be and the quicker the loan will be paid off. If you have a bad credit score or irresponsible financial history, you might get locked into a higher rate to protect the assets of the bank. Having a specific goal for where the loan money will be used allows you to utilize it in a way that benefits your company. The last thing you want is to get locked into a loan agreement and blow the money on unnecessary expenses.
Banks in Louisiana That Offer Small Business Loans
Below are the top 6 banks for getting a small business loan in the state:
Tensas State Bank
Tensas State Bank was founded in Newellton in 1922. Since the opening of its first branch, it has branched out to offer its banking and loan services to five other communities in Louisiana.
Gibsland Bank and Trust
Since 1948, Gibsland Bank and Trust has been helping people and businesses in northwestern Louisiana save, invest, and grow their financial assets. Today, it already has 8 branches across the state.
Synergy Bank was founded to enrich the banking experience of Louisiana residents with the direction of local business leaders and with a great commitment to the people of Louisiana.
Bank of Erath
Founded in 1910 in the location of its namesake – Erath, Louisiana – the Bank of Erath offers an extensive list of personal and commercial banking products and services.
Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Company
Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Company was founded in 1883 in New Orleans and is a popular choice for small business loans among locals.
Guaranty Bank and Trust Company
With its humble roots in Delhi, Louisiana, Guaranty Bank has since offered its own brand of community banking to other locations such as Start, Rayville, and West Monroe.
Top Cities in Louisiana and Their Lenders
Louisiana is one of the South’s most famous states. The region was a former French colony that was purchased by the US Government from the French. For this reason, the area has a large French influence, especially in terms of architecture. Louisiana is one of the most affordable places in the United States – making it a hotspot for young business owners who want a low cost of living. Unfortunately, some areas of the state are slightly dangerous, so you’ll need to be careful where you choose to live. This part of the article will take an in-depth look at Louisiana to determine which cities are best for small business. We’ll also provide you with some top local small business lenders to choose from!
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is the largest city in Louisiana, it’s also the most famous. The city is well-known for its nightlife and culinary scene. Parts of New Orleans are expensive to live in, but there are plenty of affordable spots. If you want to start a business in the hospitality industry, this is one of the best cities in America. Below are our favorite small business lenders in Louisiana:
Our favorite lender in New Orleans is the Gulf Bank. This large bank has the power you need to start the best business possible in New Orleans. They understand how the local New Orleans economy works – they’ve been helping customers in the area for decades. They also provide traditional business banking services if you want to use a lender that can also set you up with a checking account or business credit card.
Fortunately, the size of New Orleans means you have a few decent lenders to choose from when it comes to financing. Fidelity Bank is another large, regional bank operating in New Orleans. Like Gulf Bank, they’re very experienced at helping their customers get the solutions they need. They also provide their clients with traditional banking services and business credit cards.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge is the home to Louisiana State University. While the local economy benefits from the college in the center of the city, Baton Rouge is also a hotspot for oil and petrochemicals. There are plenty of opportunities for small business owners in the city. Below are our top lenders in Baton Rouge:
Pelican State Credit Union
Pelican State Credit Union is our top choice for Baton Rouge. This large, regional credit union has proven to be a favorite amongst local business owners in the area. They can provide you with traditional term loans and lines of credit. They’re also experts at giving their clients SBA loans if it’s something you’d be interested in.
IBERIABANK is another lender that we recommend in Baton Rouge, they’re a large regional lender that has the power to help you achieve your business goals. They also have some of the best business banking services in the area. If you’re looking for a solid partner, this is one of your best full-service options.
Shreveport is another major oil city in the state of Louisiana. The proximity to the Gulf of Mexico makes it an ideal location for the industry. Below is our top pick for Louisiana small business owners:
Ouachita Bank is Shreveport’s best small business lender. They have offices in the city, as well as smaller offices in Monroe and Bastrop. They have a great reputation in the area – they’re definitely the best lender for any small business loans in Shreveport.
Lafayette may have a reputation as a quaint southern city, but the area plays home to some of the most innovative information technology companies in country. If you work in this industry, it could be a good place to start a business. Below is our top lender in Lafayette:
St. Martin Bank
If you’re looking to work with a small regional lender that understands the business environment in Lafayette, we highly recommend you work with St. Martin Bank. The lender has been providing term loans, lines of credit, and other business loans to their customers for decades. They can also help you set up business checking accounts if you’re looking for full financial services.
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Lake Charles is known as the gambling capital of Louisiana. As gambling is legal in the state, people come from neighboring areas to take advantage of the ability to go to casinos. It’s another great spot for those working in hospitality or retail. Below is our favorite small business lender in Lake Charles:
Nations Lending is our top lender in the Lake Charles area. Lake Charles has a unique economy, so it takes a unique lender to ensure that you get the best type of lending for your business. They work especially close with their clients to help them with a wide variety of different small business lending needs.
Bossier City, Louisiana
Bossier City is another gambling hotspot in Louisiana – it’s the fastest growing city in the state. If you’re looking for an affordable entry to the entertainment industry, this is the spot to be. Below is our favorite small business lender for Bossier City:
Origin Bank is a southern bank with offices throughout the region. They have an established client base in Bossier City for both consumer and business financial services. They can help you obtain a range of different business loans, as well as a variety of other business banking services. They’re our top pick for Bossier City!
Remember, some of these companies or banks are very specialized and may only handle SBA loans or a business line of credit. Ask them about any special programs for minorities or women. Also ask for information about business grants for startups if that interest you. If you bad credit don't worry as there still may be other alternative lenders willing to work with you.