RS 51:2402     

§2402. Small Business Innovation Recruitment Fund; purpose; program administration

            A. There is hereby created in the state treasury, as a special fund, the "Small Business Innovation Recruitment Fund", hereinafter referred to as the "fund".

            B.(1) The monies in the fund shall be used as an economic development incentive to recruit out-of-state small businesses that have received Phase II Small Business Innovation Research, hereinafter referred to as "SBIR", or Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer, hereinafter referred to as "STTR", federal grants to move to Louisiana.

            (2) In order for a business to be considered a "small business" for purposes of this Section, the business shall qualify as small according to the United States Small Business Administration's industry size standards.

            C. After compliance with the requirements of Article VII, Section 9(B) of the Constitution of Louisiana relative to the Bond Security and Redemption Fund, all monies received for the purpose of the fund shall be deposited into the fund.

            D. Monies in the fund shall be invested in the same manner as monies in the general fund. Interest earned on investment of monies in the fund shall be credited to the fund. Unexpended and unencumbered monies in the fund at the end of the fiscal year shall remain in the fund.

            E. Subject to appropriation and the provisions of this Section, monies in the fund shall be used by the Department of Economic Development, hereinafter referred to in this Section as the "department", for awarding grants to selected applicants. The department shall establish criteria for grant eligibility, provide for an application process, and select eligible business applicants to receive monies from the fund, based upon nominations of eligible small businesses recommended by the Regional Economic Alliance of Louisiana, which represents sixty-four parishes of the state.

            F.(1) Up to five hundred thousand dollars shall be annually disbursed from the fund to eligible applicants in the form of grants. Any grant received pursuant to this Section shall not exceed one hundred thousand dollars per applicant. The grant awards provided pursuant to this Section shall be divided into three equal amounts and disbursed to the selected applicants over a period of three consecutive years.

            (2) In Fiscal Year 2025-2026, in addition to any monies disbursed from the fund pursuant to Paragraph (1) of this Subsection, an amount of up to one hundred five thousand dollars of fund monies shall be allocated to the department for administrative costs.

            G. An applicant that meets all of the following criteria shall be eligible for a grant provided for in this Section:

            (1) The applicant shall have received Phase II SBIR or STTR grant funding within the two years immediately preceding submission of the application.

            (2) The applicant shall have generated sales and revenue and shall provide documentation proving such.

            (3) The applicant shall have produced commercial products or conducted commercial services and shall provide documentation proving such.

            H. Within six months of approval by the department, an applicant selected to receive grant monies shall provide documentation that the applicant business has relocated to Louisiana. If the selected applicant fails to relocate or provide documentation of such, the grant shall be forfeited, and the money shall be disbursed to another applicant.

            Acts 2022, No. 477, §1, eff. June 15, 2022.