Upcoming Opportunities for Creative Businesses


This week’s post is about a group of small businesses close to my heart. The following are opportunities and information designed to help those whose creativity fuels our local economy, drives business development, increases jobs and boosts tourism.


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1.) The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation’s 2018 Catapult Fund application deadline is April 6.  The organization will host two workshops to answer questions about the fund program and the application process. These will be held: Wednesday, March 28, at 5:30 p.m. and Monday, April 2, at 5:00 p.m. at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center, 1225 N. Rampart St.

This grant program encourages small cultural businesses to take the next step in their growth and development. To be eligible, applicants must have small, Louisiana-based businesses in the food industry. These may include restaurants, chefs, caterers, food trucks and others filling a niche in their local markets.

Last year’s winners include Fred Henry, co-owner of Café Dauphine, a restaurant in Lower 9th Ward; Becky Wasden, a partner in Two Girls One Shuck, which caters raw oysters for special events; and Tracy Kish, a partner in The Crepe Cart, which sells freshly made crepes from a mobile cart at the French Market and other locations.

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The Catapult Fund provides a 17-session course on business training over a five-month period. Participants learn business best practices and strategies. They create a business growth plan and a business pitch. ServSafe certification – which includes eight hours of instruction and a final exam – is included in the Catapult Fund training program.  Following completion of the training course, participants will be awarded grant funding.


2.) It's tax time and the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation (LCEF) and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center is offering “Schedule C for Artists and Creatives,” a three-hour workshop with Diane Dawson. At its core, the Schedule C is nothing more than a profits and losses worksheet for sole proprietors and single-member LLCs. This form should be filed as an attachment to your personal income return. The form is far from the longest one the IRS has to offer, but if you’ve never filed out a Schedule C you’re bound to feel confused by some of the language you encounter.

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The workshop will be held March 29 at 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 938 Lafayette St., 4th Floor Conference Room.


3.) LCEF — along with Louisiana Endowment for the Arts and in partnership with the New Orleans Downtown Development District — offers the Culture-Up innovation incubator, which provides low-cost collaborative office space and support services to help creatives conduct business.


4.) LCEF, in partnership with a wide variety of entities, also offers a loan fund. These low-interest loans are available to individual creatives and to small cultural businesses. Creatives can access loans of up to $10,000 at interest rates as low as 8 percent for periods up to three years for needs or ideas that can help them grow and prosper through the Louisiana Culturepreneur Fund.

All around the country we are understanding what creatives bring to our economy but nowhere is it more important than here in New Orleans.

For more information, contact Aimee Smallwood with LCEF.



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