LCCF Highlights 400 Years of Black History and Achievement on Social Media
Year 1603- Mathieu Da Costa, a free black explorer, guides the French through parts of Canada and the Lake Champlain region of what is now New York state.

This month, check out the Louisiana Chamber of Commerce Foundation social media profiles where 400 years of Black History are highlighted each day!


Facebook: @LAChamberofCommerce
Instagram: @lachamberofcommerce
Twitter: @CommerceofLA
Louisiana Gains Foothold in EV Battery Supply Chain with $176 Million Syrah Technologies Expansion
VIDALIA, La. – Gov. John Bel Edwards and Syrah Resources CEO Shaun Verner announced that the company is investing $176 million to expand its Syrah Technologies graphite processing facility in central Louisiana, giving the state a supply-chain foothold in the rapidly expanding market for electric vehicle components produced in the United States. 

Syrah Technologies is retaining 19 employees and creating 36 direct new jobs with average annual salaries of $69,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 52 indirect jobs, for a total of 88 new jobs in Louisiana’s Central Region.

The company will add 180,000 square feet of building and processing space to its existing 50,000 square-foot facility, enough to install equipment and systems for processing natural graphite into active anode material (AAM) used in lithium-ion batteries for the electric vehicle industry. The expansion announcement comes on the heels of a December 2021 offtake agreement with Tesla Inc. to supply natural graphite AAM for use in batteries.

“Today’s announcement by Syrah Technologies is another example of how Louisiana’s commitment to a cleaner energy future can strengthen our economy,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “This is just the beginning of Louisiana’s efforts to help vehicle manufacturers leverage our state’s unique logistical advantages to meet increasing electric car and truck demand. We congratulate Syrah for its commitment to sustainability, and applaud their continued investment in rural Louisiana.”

The ByBlack program from the U.S. Black Chambers and American Express offers both a certification for businesses and a directory where customers can find them.

The program, ByBlack, was created in 2020 as a directory where consumers could browse Black-owned businesses. It will now also offer a no-cost certification aimed at helping Black business owners reach more customers--including other businesses--and access contracts, according to a press release.

After the George Floyd killing, corporations pledged to devote billions of dollars to advance racial justice, including buying from Black-owned suppliers and funding Black founders through their investment arms. And social media posts encouraged consumers to "buy Black," causing some small businesses to experience overwhelming demand. ByBlack aims to make it easier for both consumers and organizations to search for certified Black-owned businesses.

Read the Full Story at
Black Entrepreneur Creates Credit-Building App After Seeing How Credit Scores Hinder Black and Brown Americans
Abbey Wemimo's (right) drive to help close the racial wealth gap in America with his credit-building startup, Esusu. (Image: Twitter)
BLACK ENTERPRISE – Abbey Wemimo is working to close the racial wealth gap through his credit-building startup, Esusu, which was built to create equitable financial access for everyone.

Esusu raised $130 million in venture capital at a $1 billion valuation according to Forbes, making it one of the few Black-owned tech startups to ever reach “unicorn valuation. Esusu captures rent-payment data and reports it to major credit bureaus, which allows renters to use their rental payment histories to boost their credit scores.
“No matter where you come from, or the color of your skin, your financial identity shouldn’t determine where you end up in the wealthiest nation in the world,” Wemimo told Forbes.

Foundation Conducting Community Health Needs Assessment

The Rapides Foundation is conducting a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) via phone survey from September until November throughout its nine-parish service area.
The purpose of this assessment is to identify major health problems, gaps in service and other factors which may contribute to less-than-optimal health status for residents.
Community opinions and feedback are vital to the Foundation's work. If your family receives a call regarding the assessment, the Foundation would greatly appreciate your participation in this research.

To find out more or to view the Foundation’s past Community Health Assessments, click here. For specific questions concerning the phone survey, you may contact The Rapides Foundation at 318-443-3394 or 800-994-3394.

Applications Being Accepted for 2022 CLIP Teacher Residency Program
The Orchard Foundation is accepting applications for the Central Louisiana Instructional Partnership (CLIP) program 2022 cohort.
CLIP is a teacher residency program focusing on developing middle school Math and Science teachers in high-needs schools in Central Louisiana.
The deadline to apply is March 31, 2022, and the program will run from June 2022 through August 2023.

Small Business 101

Have you been considering starting your own small business but unsure of where to begin? Don’t miss out on this NO COST seminar that is designed to help entrepreneurs understand what it takes to start a business! You will be provided with information about Startup Fundamentals, Marketing and Business Planning, Licenses, Business Structures, Regulations and more.

Once you have successfully completed this session, you will be better able to decide if your business idea is worth pursuing, and you will be armed with the information necessary to continue onward with your business endeavor!

*Registration for this event is ONLINE or by calling 337-482-6312*
*There is NO CHARGE for this event*

Resilient Restart East Baton Rouge - Small Business Micro-Grant Program

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and the City of Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish recognize the challenges that local businesses are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet the short-term financial needs of microenterprises and small businesses, the Resilient Restart EBR: Small Business Micro-grants Program offers one-time, micro-grants of $2,500 to eligible entities that have been impacted by COVID-19. Recipients may use these funds for rent, utilities, inventory, accounts payable, fixed costs, employee wages and benefits. These are grant awards and repayment by the recipient is not required.

Black Business Profile: Bayou Cafe & Catering, Baton Rouge LA
Bayou Café & Catering is a Black-owned business located at 5068 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge, LA.

This soul food restaurant has been around for 33 years and is a gathering place for all types of people.

Visit and connect with them today!  
Facebook: @BayouCafe.BR
Contact: (225) 358-0814 
Black Business Profile: Next Level Math Tutoring, LLC, Monroe, LA
Next Level Math Tutoring, LLC is a Black-owned in-person and virtual math tutoring service located in Monroe. Their services provide math tutoring for grade school, college and test preparation.

Next Level is owned by one of its tutors, Paul Caliste, who has more than 16 years of tutoring experience.

This service is just in time for COVID disruptions in education across the state.

Connect with Next Level Math Tutoring

Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @nextlevelmath
Call: (318) 460-0912
All vendors wishing to do business with the State of Louisiana must register online. Please use the following link to register as a vendor

 During the registration process, select all of the commodities your company is able to provide. You will then receive an email notification each time a bid is posted in one of the commodities for which you've registered.

Vendor Resources Page - Office of State Procurement’s website: 
Webinar: Emergency Procurement and How to Register
Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
The LED Small and Emerging Business Development (SEBD) Program provides managerial and technical assistance to small business owners to help them run, sustain and grow their businesses. The SEBD Program is delivered through LED partners who act as intermediaries throughout the state. Upon becoming SEBD certified, business owners meet with an intermediary who conducts a detailed assessment of their business and develops a plan of action based on that business's primary and most pressing needs.

The SEBD Program provides a 10-year certification that allows small business owners to access continued support to help enhance their business knowledge and capacity. The SEBD certification provides tools for new or existing Louisiana businesses to grow and thrive. Certification also can open the door to additional LED benefits such as the Mentor-Protégé Recognition Program and Bonding Assistance Program.

For more information, contact Tatiana Bruce at 225.342.5663 Tatiana.Bruce@la.govCamille Campbell at 225.342.5534 Camille.Campbell@la.govSolomon Lee at 225.342.4836
The SBA offers disaster assistance in the form of low interest loans to businesses, nonprofit organizations, homeowners, and renters located in regions affected by declared disasters. SBA also provides eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations with working capital to help overcome the economic injury of a declared disaster.

3901 MacArthur Blvd,
Box 6012 New Orleans, LA 70114
Phone Number: 1 504-655-7572