The nonprofit Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation on Wednesday announced a new fund to make low-interest loans to creative individuals and small cultural businesses in the metro New Orleans and Acadiana areas aimed at helping them grow.

Through the program, individuals and small businesses can receive up to $10,000 in loans with interest rates as low as 8 percent for up to three years.

To be eligible, individual applicants must be a creator within a cultural industry; be able to demonstrate a track record of being paid for their work in a way that makes up at least 25 percent of their annual income; and have either a “big idea” that will bolster their revenue or a specific need for supplies, training or equipment that will increase their ability to earn money from their work, among other factors.

Small cultural businesses are eligible if they have been registered with the Secretary of State’s office for at least one year; have a gross business income of less than $500,000; and have tax returns or financial statements that demonstrate income for the past two years and projections for the coming year, among other factors.

Applicants work with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center to create a customized technical assistance plan and will be required to complete at least 12 hours of training within the first 18 months of the loan period.

The program is a partnership with JP Morgan Chase and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s Office of Cultural Economy.

To apply, visit