Complete the establishment Regional BIPOC Chambers of Commerce as requested by local legislators and or business leaders.
LCCF currently supports ten BIPOC chambers of commerce across Louisiana through its Chamber of Commerce Growth Initiative (CCGI) program. Cumulatively these BIPOC chambers support over 1200 BIPOC small business owners. As of June 2022, LCCF has established 3 additional BIPOC chambers in the River Region (encompassing the parishes of St. James, St. John and St. Charles), Bayou Region (encompassing the parishes of Terrebonne, St. Mary, Lafourche), Jefferson Region (Jefferson Parish, Plaquemines, St. Bernard). The Establishment of these three BIPOC chambers will allow LCCF to support an additional 600 BIPOC-owned businesses.
In establishing each new chamber, LCCF will provide a variety of supportive services, including:
● Defining the target region, mission, vision, and value proposition for each chamber.
● Completing foundational document registration for each chamber required by the state of Louisiana, including filing for non-profit and 501 C3 status.
● Establishing organizational bylaws and pertinent initial documents required.
● Establishing the founding Board of Directors and providing board training to these members, inclusive of the tenants of board governance, best practices around fundraising and ensuring board effectiveness.
● Initiating CCGI training modules one and two, which encompass establishment of key back office and organizational systems, software training, and the implementation of Chambermaster-membership management software that is designed to help manage all day-to-day operations of chambers of commerce. Its integrated components include reporting, payment processing, billing, communications, events, marketing, website solutions and social networks.
● Provide website, marketing, and support for each initial BIPOC chamber launch event.
Establish three Business Innovation Centers (BICs) in New Orleans Metropolitan Area, Monroe & Lake Charles.
BICs are incubators designed to support BIPOC-owned small businesses through the provision of a variety of services they need to grow and sustain their businesses. LCCF will capture relevant data needed to identify the best possible main street location for each BIC and establish regular BIC programming in each community within three years. Services provided through each of the proposed new BICs will include:
● Strategic planning: Participants will take part in individualized strategic planning over the course of their enrollment into the BIC. This strategic planning will include environmental scanning, the surveying and analyzing of relevant data to identify opportunities and threats, strategy formulation, including a list of measurable goals and objectives, and the design of a comprehensive strategic plan.
● Procurement and Trade: To promote the involvement of BIPOC-owned businesses in domestic and international procurement opportunities and trade, LCCF services ensure these businesses have the skills, capacity, relationships and knowledge to increase financing, contract opportunities, and provide for greater access to new domestic and global markets while ensuring a favorable public policy environment for their success. Trainings offered within this area include focus on certifications, licenses, trade requirements, global banking, defining risk, cross-border initiatives, insurance, audits, disputes, and other global business needs for execution.
● Accounting: The BIC will provide access to in-house accounting services, assisting BIPOC business participants with basic accounting needs, including operationalizing accounts receivable, accounts payable, bank reconciliation, credit sales reconciliation, monthly financial statements preparation, and preparation of accounting write-ups.
● Human Resources: BIC participants will receive assistance around general human resources needs, including setting up payroll, employment policies and benefits.
● Legal Services: BIC participants will have access to legal services around common issues faced by small businesses, including organizational designation, advice regarding operating agreements, compliance, contract development and document review.
● Financial and Insurance Education: BIC participants will receive the financial and insurance education needed to identify, match, and secure alternative sources of financing. As an established leading convener of industry and BIPOC-owned businesses in Louisiana, LCCF will assist participants in securing financing in accordance with their needs. LCCF will partner with a financial institution to provide financing services.
● Conducting Business Online: Participants will have the opportunity to receive assistance with moving key aspects of their business operations online. This will encompass both the ability to move operations (staff meetings, customer service) online due to COVID-19 or other external factors, as well as best practices for e-commerce.
● Shared office space: Businesses receiving BIC services will have the option to utilize shared office space within the BIC location.
The “Launch LA” Business Innovation Center (BIC) will provide small business owners a variety of high-quality technical support and training opportunities and an empowering network of potential collaborators—yielding innovative business solutions, economic growth and resilience, and an increase in employment across the region
Will provide participating small businesses a year with a variety of technical support and
training, primarily through the implementation of its Business Innovation Program (BIP) model.
Services provided include:
• Strategic planning: Participants will take part in individualized strategic planning over the course of their enrollment into the BIC. This strategic planning will include environmental scanning, the surveying and analyzing of relevant data to identify opportunities and threats, strategy formulation, including a list of measurable goals and objectives, and the design of a comprehensive strategic plan.
• Legal and accounting: Participants will receive education around common issues faced by small businesses, including organizational designation, advice regarding operating agreements, compliance, contract development, and document review.
• Access to capital: BIC participants will receive the financial and insurance education needed to identify, match, and secure alternative sources of financing. As an established leading convener of industry and minority-owned businesses in Louisiana, LCCF will assist participants in securing
financing in accordance with their needs.
• Government Contracting and Procurement: To promote the involvement of rural small businesses in domestic and international procurement opportunities and trade, participants will receive training around the skills, capacity, relationships and knowledge to increase financing, contract opportunities, and provide for greater access to new domestic and global markets.
• Marketing: Participants will receive assistance with brand guide development, website creation and the development of a comprehensive marketing strategy.
• Human Resources: Participants will receive assistance in general human resources needs, including setting up payroll, employment policies and benefits provided by program partners.
• Business Development: These services include the development of a complete three-year business plan, inclusive of market analysis, staffing plans and financial projections.
Establish a vibrant aquaculture/agriculture ecosystem of support for BIPOC Louisiana farmers.
Agriculture, inclusive of aquaculture, is one of the leading industries in Louisiana. Louisiana is among the top ten states in production of sugar cane, sweet potatoes, rice, cotton, and pecans, and the state ranks number one in the nation for production of crawfish, shrimp, alligators, and oysters.
LCCF will establish four farming-based cooperatives in rural regions across Louisiana to ensure BIPOC farmers and fishers are able to secure the funding and supportive services they need to be fully and equitably represented within Louisiana’s agricultural system. These cooperatives will serve as business incubators for farmers and fishers, providing the supportive services that they need to start and expand their businesses. The cooperatives will provide management guidance, technical assistance, and consulting tailored to meet the unique needs of farmers and will allow farmers to learn from each other. Specific services provided through these LCCF- supported cooperatives will include assistance with accounting, accessing new markets, conducting business online, and financial and insurance education.
In coordination with the establishment of these cooperatives, LCCF will facilitate the enhancement of infrastructure needs for IT, 5g, automation and service provision of smart grids, identify development opportunities for land development that will be used for industry education, retail, manufacturing, and distribution and collaborate with farmers and local industry partners to increase procurement opportunities for farm to table and farmer market retail. Additionally, Louisiana’s state industrial plan to produce hemp was approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in December of 2019. LCCF will work with agricultural partners and farmers to explore the potential opportunities that exist around hemp production.
In addition to direct farmer support, and in response to a growing workforce shortage within the agriculture industry, LCCF will work with agriculture and aquaculture partners to develop and provide workforce training focused on preparing unemployed, underemployed, hard-to-employ, returning citizens and those that have aged out of existing opportunities for employment opportunities within the agriculture and aquaculture industries.
The initial design of the LCCF AgriAquaculture Center of Excellence (ACE) will be centrally located within the state of Louisiana. It will support and cultivate the continued growth and cultural significance of indigenous farming and fishing industry organically produced in Louisiana
We will be a catalyst that will help to increase the participation of young local, minority and aging Louisianians in the farming industry. By going back to the root of production, we are focusing on the development of a healthy ecosystem where business and farming merge to create diverse streams of income that include:
• Labor/Workforce development
• Packaging/advanced manufacturing
• Wholesale distribution
• Retail resale
• Inventory / Supply chain management
The four areas that we The four areas that we will develop are:
• Educational track - pipeline for k-12 to participate in the Agri/aquaculture industries
• Workforce development - stackable credentials for workforce training for returning citizens, underemployed and unemployed
• Retail - fresh food to table
• Packaging, distribution, advanced manufacturing
Business and Agriculture Business Innovation Program (Farming Specific)
Business and Agriculture Business Innovation Program (BAIP), which provides a variety of technical and training support specifically tailored to meet the needs of urban farmers operating within the state of Louisiana
BAIP will serve a minimum of 15 participating urban and rural, primarily BIPOC, farmers in the state of Louisiana. Participants will be evaluated upon entry and regularly throughout the participation to ensure the program services offered are most responsive to their current stage and needs to advance their growth and success. Services provided through the BAIP include:
• Long-term strategic planning: The BAIP will provide farmers with supportive services designed to assist them in long-term strategic planning for their businesses, including assuring quality control around production throughout business growth.
• Access to capital: Participants will receive the financial education needed to identify, match, and secure alternative sources of financing. Participants will be introduced to different funding mechanisms and review common materials needed to secure this funding.
• Access to new markets: Participants will receive training focused on diversifying market access for farmers-including developing the policies, procedures and knowledge necessary to explore domestic wholesale markets and additional potential international markets. Participants will explore potential new markets for their farms during individual coaching sessions.
• Conducting Business Online: Participants will learn how to move key aspects of their business operations online, including marketing and e-commerce. BAIP participants will receive additional assistance on this topic, as needed, through their individual coaching sessions.