A: A company is eligible for the Branded program if the following requirements are met:
- Small according to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) guidelines
- SBA determines a company’s eligibility according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. Based on a company’s primary industry, the NAICS code indicates the size standards in number of employees or the size standards in millions of dollars
- Be incorporated in the United States and have a corporate office or production facility from the Southern United States Trade Association’s (SUSTA) region:
9. North Carolina
11. Puerto Rico
12. South Carolina
16. West Virginia
- Promote a product under a brand name and label the product as “Made in USA”, “Product of U.S.”, or “Made in Louisiana" (the state must be spelled out in its entirety; abbreviations are not accepted)
- Products must be at least 50% U.S. agricultural origin by weight excluding added water and packaging (Note: The U.S. content of food and agricultural products is determined by the percentage of the finished product measured by weight that originates in the United States). Products must be grown in the U.S.; products that are only processed in the U.S. are not eligible.
- Have sales of at least $100,000.00 in the previous years
- Have sufficient products to supply to buyers
If a company is just starting up, I suggest the company do their research. Once a company meets all the necessary requirements, the company can apply for funding.