Third Pathway opens for women, minority owned businesses

By Amanda White

Cheniere Energy Foundation has donated $100,000 to fund the third round of the SWLA Alliance’s “Pathway to Small Business Recovery” Grant Program. To date, over 100 small businesses have received $3,000 to help them recover after last year’s Hurricanes and the COVID-19 shutdown within our region. (Pictured: Michelle McInnis, SWLA Economic Development Alliance Foundation; Amy Miller, Local & Governmental Affairs for Cheniere Energy; Laura Ferrell, Governmental and Public Affairs Louisiana for Cheniere Energy; and George Swift, President/CEO of the SWLA Economic Development Alliance.

“With this third round of funding, grants will be distributed to minority and/or woman owned businesses within Calcasieu and Cameron Parish. This vital assistance is needed for businesses still picking up the pieces after Hurricanes Laura and Delta as well as our economic slowdown stemming from COVID-19,” said George Swift, President/CEO of the Alliance.

The application process is simple. A one-page application is on the SWLA Alliance website ( and also available at The SEED Center (4310 Ryan Street in Lake Charles) between 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Businesses who previously received a Pathway Grant are not eligible.

For more information, email

To apply, each applicant must be able to provide documentation of the following:

  1. The for-profit company has been in business for two years,
  2. registered with the Louisiana Secretary of State,
  3. minority and/or Woman Owned,
  4. within Cameron or Calcasieu Parish,
  5. have less than 25 employees,
  6. and how they plan to use the grant.

This program was initially made possible by a $150,000 seed grant from the Sempra Energy Foundation and followed up with a second round of funds from the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana.

Thirty Grants of $3,000 will be available. Deadline for the application is March 19.

The grants will be distributed on March 30.