Department of Community Development
The City of Shreveport Department of Community Development is an integrated business assistance unit incorporating several elements, including the following services:
- Business and Entrepreneurial Skills Training Program (BEST) - Provides existing businesses and potential entrepreneurs with the fundamental knowledge essential to successful business ownership. Includes basic instructions in business law, accounting, cash flow analysis, financing, insurance, management, components of a business plan, and basic computer usage.
- City of Shreveport’s Fair Share Program - The Fair Share Program is designed to assist individuals and business seeking to do business with the City of Shreveport. Every effort is made to ensure opportunities are available for small businesses to participate in the city's letting of contracts and purchases. Contact the Fair Share Program at 318-673-5060.
- Brownfields Assistance Program - Assists in the development of Brownfields properties. The program enrolls properties that can benefit from the program’s assistance in coordinating environmental services, promoting the site to developers, and if funding allows, financing environmental assessments. Contact the Department of Operational Services at 318-673-7660.
Chambers of Commerce
The local chambers of commerce provide a wide range of information, services, and programs for businesses.
- Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce - The mission of the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce is to promote economic growth for our region and to serve as a business advocate for our members. Contact the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce at 318-677-2500.
- Minority Business Council / Hispanic Business Council / Women's Business Council - These are specialized agencies under the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce. Contact these agencies at 318-677-2508.
- Shreveport / Bossier African-American Chamber of Commerce - The mission of the Shreveport / Bossier African-American Chamber of Commerce is to create an environment conducive to economic empowerment for small businesses, African-American owned businesses and the community at-large, resulting in socioeconomic growth. Contact at 318-459-1440.
- The Coordinating & Development Corporation – A private, non-profit economic development organization that provides a wide variety of services for the business community. These services include business investment and finance, employment and job training, business development and incubation, marketing, international trade development, and state tax incentives information and servicing. Contact the Coordinating & Development Corporation at 318-632-2022.
- Metro / Regional Business Incubator – Owned by The Coordinating & Development Corporation and operated by its affiliate, the Ark-La-Tex Regional Export & Technology Center, Inc, the Metro / Regional Business Incubator provides entrepreneurs and small businesses with a wide range of business assistance on both an incubator and "incubator without walls" basis. The Business Incubator facility offers low-cost light manufacturing and warehouse/ distribution rental space, and shared facilities and office equipment. Contact the Metro / Regional Business Incubator at 318-671-1050.
- AEP Southwestern Electric Power ® – AEP SWEPCO is a leading provider of low-cost energy and related services. Based in Shreveport, AEP SWEPCO serves more than 426,000 customers in northwest Louisiana, northeast Texas and western Arkansas. The company’s Economic Development Department assists communities with the creation of new industries and jobs. It also helps existing industry maximize expansion opportunities. Contact AEP SWEPCO at 318-673-3170.
- SCORE – Service Corps Of Retired Executives is an SBA-sponsored program that offers advice, counseling and management training for owners and would-be owners of small businesses. The local SCORE chapter counsels local entrepreneurs on starting or expanding small businesses. "Going into Business" seminars are held quarterly; individual appointments are available each Thursday. Contact SCORE at 318-677-2536.
- Government Procurement Center – This agency helps companies find and secure government contracts, assists with marketing and technical aspects of government contracts, and offers specialized assistance to clients in areas such as construction and environmental contracting and subcontracting. Contact the Government Procurement Center at 318-677-2530.
- Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce Directory – The Shreveport Chamber's Department of Minority and Women Business Development, Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, maintains a directory of products and services provided by city-certified disadvantaged businesses, and shares the information with the purchasing agents in 21 major Shreveport corporations and organizations. Contact the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce at 318-677-2508.
- Downtown Development Authority / Downtown Shreveport Development Corporation – These non-profit organizations provide a variety of services for companies located or interested in locating in Shreveport's Downtown Development District. Services range from helping to locate an appropriate building, to restoration tax information, and a low interest loan program designed to provide rehabilitation funds for renovating downtown’s older buildings. Contact the agencies at 318-222-7403.
- LSUS Small Business Development Center (SBDC) – The LSUS SBDC is sponsored by the Small Business Administration and the Louisiana Department of Economic Development to identify the specialized management and technical needs of the small business community. The SBDC provides counseling, serves as an informational resource center, and coordinates and conducts continuing education programs. Contact the LSUS SBDC 318-797-5144.
- LSUS Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) – The CBER maintains a database of economic indicators for the Shreveport-Bossier City Metropolitan Statistical Area. The CBER publishes regular reports from the database information. The CBER also performs contracted projects involving applied business research for public and private organizations. Contact the CBER at 318-797-5141.
- Inner City Entrepreneur Institute (ICE) – Provides technical assistance and referrals for entrepreneurs and small businesses located or wishing to locate within the City of Shreveport’s iInner city. Contact the Inner City Entrepreneur Institute at 318-425-4234.
- Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana (BRF) – The BRF is a not-for-profit corporation established to enhance and promote scientific capacity and technology related development in Northwest Louisiana. Because Shreveport-Bossier is a health care destination for the surrounding region, the foundation's goal is to build on the existing medical infrastructure and create a nationally recognized biomedical/ biotechnology research and development center. Contact the BRF at 318-675-4101.
- Center for Biomedical Technology Innovation (CBTI) – The Center for Biomedical Technology Innovation is dedicated to the support and development of advanced medical technology. Its special mission is to support development of technologies that promise not only an improvement in the quality of care, but also a reduction in the cost of care. The Biomedical Research Foundation created the center with a $7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Contact the CBTI at 318-675-4102.
- Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana (MEPoL) – The MEPoL provides a comprehensive source of business, management, and technical assistance to area manufacturers. A low-cost annual membership entitles a manufacturer to eight free consulting hours, with additional services provided at reduced hourly rates. Contact the MEPoL at 318-671-7675.
- Shreveport Green – An affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, this non-profit agency provides information related to the environment, environmental problems, and recycling. Contact Shreveport Green at 318-219-1888
- Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments – The NLCOG is an intergovernmental agency for Caddo, Bossier, and Webster Parishes that serves as a regional planning and census data affiliate. The agency assists businesses by providing information regarding demographics, mapping, and transportation issues. Contact the NLCOG at 318-841-5950.
- Commercial Banks – As a major source of small business loans, commercial loan departments of banks often provide advice and counsel to prospective small business owners.