Black Business Works Fund

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Calling Black-owned businesses negatively impacted by Hurricane Ida

Urban League of Louisiana and Foundation for Louisiana have established the Black Business Works Fund (BBWF) to assist Black-owned businesses negatively impacted by Hurricane Ida. The Fund will provide access to short-term, emergency funding needed to get back to business. These are grant awards and repayment by the recipient is not required.


Black-owned businesses tend to be disproportionately impacted by economic downturns, natural disasters, and global health crises. The impacts of Hurricane Ida have extended business closures, decreased demand for products and services, and created structural and real property damages that have devastated the finances of many local businesses. These interruptions are particularly difficult for Black-owned businesses operating in low-to-moderate income communities as capital resources have proven to be less accessible in these areas.


  • Provide grants of $2,500 to eligible businesses which can be used for rent, equipment, utilities, inventory, accounts payable, fixed costs, employee wages and benefits, etc. 
  • Keep Black-owned businesses, and their employees anchored in their communities.
  • Create supports that allow Black-owned businesses to remain competitive.
  • Help businesses stand back up in the aftermath of the storm.
  • Help the community rebound.

Timeline and Process

Applications for grants will be reviewed and awarded in three rounds based on the 2020 revenue of the business and based on the availability of funds. Grants will be awarded based on the type of business, location, demonstration of need and proposed use of funds. Recipients are required to obtain post-award technical assistance from an approved service provider to support business recovery and growth. Applicants should gather all required documentation prior to starting the online application. Applicants will be prompted to create a free Submittable account or sign in with Google or Facebook credentials to submit these forms.


Eligible small businesses must:

  • Be a for-profit business
  • Be a “small business” as defined by SBA Size Standards
  • Be at least 51% owned and operated by an African American/Black individual residing in the state of Louisiana
  • Have a principal place of business located in a federally declared disaster area due to the impacts of Hurricane Ida, includes: Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana parishes
  • Have been in business for the full year of 2020 or at least 12 months prior to August 26, 2021
  • Round 1: Have business revenue in 2020 between $15,000 and $50,000 (30 Awards)
  • Round 2: Have business revenue in 2020 between $50,000 and $100,000 (15 Awards)
  • Round 3: Have business revenue in 2020 between $100,001 and $150,000 (15 Awards)
  • Round 4: Open to all businesses with revenue in 2020 between $15,000 and $150,000
  • Be able to demonstrate economic business loss or damage due to Hurricane Ida

Required documentation

  • Driver’s License or Bill (Confirming State Residency)
  • Federal or State Issued Document or Bill (Confirming Business Location)
  • Verification of Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • 2020 Profit/Loss Statement; or 2020 Schedule C
  • W-9 (Version October 2018)

About FFL

Foundation for Louisiana unites philanthropists, committed organizations, and caring residents to address the most critical needs facing  Louisiana and our entire country. FFL is a social justice philanthropic intermediary founded in 2005 to invest in the immediate recovery of  Louisiana’s communities after Hurricane Katrina. While FFL was founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, our founders recognized the need to address the longstanding inequities that have shaped life outcomes for the most marginalized of Louisianans.  FFL grew in response to these needs, and today, we focus on racial justice, climate justice, criminal justice reform, economic justice, gender justice, and support for Louisiana's vibrant arts and culture. Since its inception, FFL has invested $55 million in more than 250 mission-critical nonprofit organizations working across the state toward building a  more just Louisiana. FFL’s work unapologetically advances racial justice while moving  Louisiana forward.  FFL engages communities in both program co-design as well as its grant-making process, in order to expand opportunities and move communities towards a  more just future.  As the only Black-led statewide philanthropic entity in  Louisiana,  FFL’s programmatic and policy work has demonstrated broad regional impact through dismantling the structural barriers that impact the lives of Louisianans.  As a trusted partner in philanthropy,  FFL facilitates the change necessary to build a more just Louisiana.

About Urban League Louisiana

Having served Greater New Orleans since 1938 with a mission to assist underserved communities in securing economic self-reliance, parity, power, and civil rights, the Urban League expanded to a statewide entity in 2016, becoming the Urban League of Louisiana (ULLA). That expansion began in East Baton Rouge Parish and plans to continue throughout the state. Even after 80 years,  the organization is still relevant in its mission of focusing programs to ensure quality education and access to information, employment, entrepreneurial and economic inclusion opportunities, and shared dignity under the law. ULLA provides services to citizens through programs housed in three essential Centers of Excellence, which take a holistic approach to addressing issues that concern low to moderate-income families: The Center for Education and Youth Development, the Center for Workforce and Economic Development, and the Center for Policy and Social Justice.