The Louisiana State University of Alexandria is partnering with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center (LSBDC) to establish a Small Business Development Center in Alexandria. The joint venture is an initiative of the LSUA College of Business to support small businesses and entrepreneurs in Central Louisiana.
As part of the federal CARES Act, the LSBDC and the LSUA College of Business have collaborated to create a satellite center that will offer high-quality technical assistance to existing and start-up small businesses, as well as small business entrepreneurs in seven Central Louisiana parishes at no cost to the client.
The parishes that the LSBDC at LSUA will service are Rapides, Avoyelles, Grant, Natchitoches, Sabine, Vernon and Winn.
“Revenue for existing small businesses in Louisiana has been highly impacted by the pandemic, down 32% since March. However, Louisiana has seen explosive growth in new business formations. Through September, 67,000 new business applications were filed in Louisiana, an increase of 52% over the same period last year,” said LSUA College of Business Dean, Dr. Randall Dupont. “The goal is to provide small businesses and startups with assistance to attract customers, improve operations, increase sales and successfully access capital. We recognize having vibrant small businesses are essential for a community to create and retain jobs.”
This new partnership helps the LSBDC to have a stronger presence and service offering for small business owners and entrepreneurs in the Central Louisiana region. LSBDC State Director Carla Holland described the opening of an SBDC office in Alexandria “as a very much anticipated and positive move for increased support of our Central Louisiana small businesses and entrepreneurs.”
“I look forward to working with LSUA and this collaboration becoming the spark of a great economic development push,” Holland said. “When the CARES Act funding became available, Central Louisiana was definitely at the top of my list, and we have found a great partner in LSUA to bring this to life.”
The LSBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, LED and participating institutions of higher education. The LSBDC was established in 1983 and is strategically located to service all 64 parishes in Louisiana.