Grants & Assistance

The DDD offers grants and assistance exclusive to downtown businesses. All applicants must schedule a meeting with the Downtown Development District staff to review funding availability and program requirements.

Application Process

  1. Prospective applicant submits an application package which consists of an introductory letter providing an overview of the project, DDD Program Application, and supplementary documents. Documents may be submitted via US mail or email. 
  2. The DDD will schedule a meeting with the applicant to review the program and discuss the improvement plans. The applicant is required, per program guidelines, to meet with the Historic Districts Landmarks Commission (HDLC) to review and/or approve the scope of the project, including necessary work with an architect or engineer.  
  3. The DDD will provide a letter of Grant Commitment, subject to completion of the project according to city building permits, HDLC Certificate of appropriateness, compliance with DDD program requirements, and all other required approvals. The Grant Commitment letter serves as a notice to proceed on the façade improvement program.  
  4. The DDD does not accept as a part of the project costs any renovation expenditures made before the date of the grant commitment letter. Construction must commence within 45 days of DDD Commitment and be completed within 120 days after construction start date (subject to weather and other unavoidable events).  
  5. Once construction has been completed and all necessary final City and HDLC approvals are obtained and documentation (copies of cancelled checks) showing the applicant’s share of cost has been provided, the DDD will process a check for payment of the approved grant amount payable to the applicant. 

Façade Improvement

Façade Improvement Grants can provide up to $20,000 in matching grants for improvements such as sign repair/replacement, window/door repair/replacement, painting, and permitting.

Featured Incentives

Façade Micro-Grant

Façade Micro Grants can provide up to $6,000 in matching grants for improvements such as parklets, street furniture, awnings, and retail window displays.

The Micro Grant will also provide $3,000 with no matching requirement for businesses to install exterior lighting.

Sidewalk Improvement

Property owners can receive a matching grant of up to $40,000 to replace or improve the sidewalks adjacent to their properties.

Graffiti Removal

Property owners can receive a 50% reimbursement up to $2,500 to offset the expense of graffiti removal from their property.

Outdoor Dining Program

Downtown restaurants are eligible for up to $3,000 of assistance to purchase and install outdoor dining improvements such as parklet furniture, decorative planters, and portable heaters.

Banner Program

Organizations sponsoring civic and community events or special events can partner with the DDD to place their messaging on streetlight banners throughout Downtown.

Energy Smart

Facilitated via our partners at Entergy New Orleans, Energy Smart works with residents, business owners, facility managers and trade ally contractors to identify opportunities and provide cash incentives up to 100% for completing eligible upgrades with measurable/verifiable energy savings.

Access to Capital

Small Business Loan Program

Provides loan guarantees to banks and other small business lenders in association with the SSBCI ranging from $5,000 to $1.5 million. 

Federal Incentives

SBA partners with lenders to help increase small business access to loans. 

Business Incentives

LED FastStart

FastStart provides customized employee recruitment, screening, training development and training delivery for eligible, new or expanding companies — all at no cost.  

Enterprise Zone Tax Credit

Provides a job tax credit of up to $3,500 per certified net new permanent, full-time job and either a state sales/use tax rebate on qualifying expenses or an investment tax credit equal to 1.5 percent for qualified capital expenditures, excluding tax-exempted items. 

Quality Jobs

Up to a 6 percent rebate on annual payroll expenses for up to 10 years and either a state sales/use tax rebate on capital expense or a 1.5 percent project facility expense rebate for qualifying expenses. 

Louisiana Research and Development Tax Credit

A tax credit up to 30 percent to existing businesses with operating facilities in Louisiana to establish or continue research and development within the state. 

Developer / Investor Tax Credits

Angel Investor Tax Credit

Provides a 25 percent tax credit on investments by accredited investors who contribute to businesses certified by LED as Louisiana Entrepreneurial Businesses. Investors can invest $720,000 per business per year and $1.44 million per business over the life of the program. 

State Historic Tax Credit

Buildings located within a National Register Historic District, is individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and/or is located within a Cultural District may be eligible for historic rehabilitation tax incentives.  

New Markets Tax Credit

The federal New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC Program) helps economically distressed communities attract private investment capital by providing investors with a federal tax credit. The NMTC Program helps to offset the perceived or real risk of investing in distressed and low-income communities. 

Rehabilitation Act Tax Credit

A 20% income tax credit is available for the rehabilitation of historic, income-producing buildings that are determined by the Secretary of the Interior, through the National Park Service, to be “certified historic structures.” 

Restoration Tax Abatement (RTA)

A 100 percent property tax abatement for up to 10 years for the rehabilitation of an existing structure located within economic development districts, downtown development districts, historic districts, and opportunity zones. 

Opportunity Zone

This federal capital gains tax incentive program is designed to drive long-term investments to low-income communities. The law provides a federal tax incentive for investors to re-invest their capital gains into Opportunity Funds, which are specialized vehicles dedicated to investing in designated low-income areas. 

Small Business Assistance Programs

Bonding Assistance Programs

Provides bond guarantees up to 25 percent or $100,000, whichever is less, for qualifying contractors requiring surety bonds for private or public jobs 

CEO Roundtables

Provides peer-to-peer learning that gives executives the opportunity to discuss business practices and management strategies with other executives who deal with similar growth challenges. 

Hudson Initiative

Provides eligible Louisiana small businesses with greater access to state procurement and public contract opportunities. 

State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant for Export Promotion 

Provides up to $5,555 per company to assist with export development. 

Louisiana Contractors Accreditation Institute

Provides business training focusing on expanding understanding of the construction industry. 

Mentor-Protégé Recognition Program

Connects Louisiana-based small and emerging businesses to technical and developmental assistance provided by large mentor companies from various sectors. 

Small and Emerging Business Development Program

Provides developmental assistance including entrepreneurial training, marketing, computer skills, accounting, business planning, legal and industry specific assistance. 

Strategic Research

Provides customized business intelligence through an assigned team of highly-skilled researchers in the specialized fields of market research, geographic information systems (GIS), and digital marketing to accelerate growth and help companies export their innovations to external markets. 

Entertainment Industry Incentives

Digital Interactive Media and Software Program

Provides a 25% tax credit on qualified payroll for in-state labor and 18% for qualified production expenditures. The incentive is open to all companies producing digital interactive media products or platforms in Louisiana.  

Entertainment Job Creation Program

Provides a 15 percent or 20 percent tax credit on annual wages to qualified entertainment companies that create a minimum of five well-paid net new jobs for Louisiana residents. 

Live Performance Production Program

Provides a tax credit of 18 percent for musical and theatrical productions and additional credits are available for employing Louisiana residents. 

Motion Picture Production Program

Provides a tax credit of up to 40 percent on qualified production expenditures and an additional 15 percent tax credit for Louisiana resident labor expenditures. 

Music Job Creation Program

A 10 percent or 15 percent credit on annual wages to qualified music industry-related companies (QMC) that create a minimum of three well-paid net new jobs for Louisiana residents. 

Sound Recording Program

A production credit of 18 percent for eligible production expenditures. 

Veteran Assistance Programs

Louisiana Veterans First Business Initiative

The program will allow for a veteran, active or reserve military, or Gold Star spouse who have a fifty-one percent ownership in a business to apply for and gain certification to recognize and promote their businesses. In addition, the program will create a searchable database for anyone seeking to patronize a veteran, active-duty or reserve military, or Gold Star spouse business. 

Pathway to Assist Veteran Entrepreneurs (PAVE)

Provides training to give veterans the tools needed to develop their business ideas, including business planning, marketing, financing, capital formation and other aspects of business development. 

Veteran Initiative

Provides veteran-owned and service-oriented disabled veteran-owned small businesses with greater potential for access to state procurement and public contract opportunities. 

Housing Development Funding and Incentives

Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program

The LIHTC is designed to subsidize either 30% or 70% of the costs in a low-income unit rental project. The 30% subsidy, commonly called the “automatic 4% tax credit,” is for new construction that includes additional subsidies or that can be used for the acquisition cost of existing buildings. The 70% subsidy, or “9% tax credit,” supports new construction that does not include any additional federal subsidies. 

Multifamily Bond Program

The Louisiana Housing Corporation, through the issuance of Multifamily Revenue Bonds, provides financing to developers to acquire, construct and/or rehabilitate affordable housing for low to moderate income families and individuals. 

Nonprofit Open Cycle Affordable Housing Program (NOAH)

Rental development funds may be used to pay eligible costs associated with the development of permanent multifamily housing. The units may be either new construction or involve acquisition with rehabilitation or reconstruction. The project can have up to four units. Units developed with LHC assistance must meet the following affordability requirements: 

Home Rental Housing Program

The Rental Housing Development (Multifamily) HOME Rental Housing Program provides loans to affordable housing developers to build, buy or rehabilitate affordable housing and provides direct rental assistance to low-income individuals. LHC serves as the administrator for HOME funds for the state of Louisiana and distributes them through a Notice of Funding Availability. 

CHDO Annual Awards Program (CHAAP)

Rental development funds may be used to pay eligible costs associated with the development of permanent multifamily housing. The units may be either new construction or involve acquisition with rehabilitation or reconstruction. The project can have up to four units. Units developed with LHC assistance must meet the following affordability requirements: 

Nonprofit Open Cycle Affordable Housing Program (NOAH)

Rental development funds may be used to pay eligible costs associated with the development of permanent multifamily housing. The units may be either new construction or involve acquisition with rehabilitation or reconstruction. The project can have up to four units. Units developed with LHC assistance must meet the following affordability requirements: 

Façade Improvements

619 Canal St. is a century-old Greek revival commercial building dating from the 1840s. A grease fire in the early 2000s destroyed the entire building. The property owner rebuilt the entire structure and even restored the double galleries that were once lost. The first floor houses a popular quick-serve restaurant and the upper two floors have been built out as four luxury apartments.

The Italianate building at Canal St. and S. Rampart had been covered for 50 years with an aluminum façade. The Fischer family, which owns the building, utilized the DDD Façade Grant to restore the original design. Today the building is under renovation as part of the Hosteling International project. Fischer’s Jewelry, which has been in the building for more than 30 years, remains as a retail institution on this busy corner.

823 Canal St. was one of the most challenging façade restorations to date. The late Victorian building, dating from the 1890s had been significantly altered from the 1950s through the 1970s. Using historic reference photos we were able to recreate a near replica of the original building. All of the architectural details in this project, along with the windows, had to be completely recreated.