Louisiana State University of Alexandria and the Central Louisiana Regional Chamber of Commerce held a formal ribbon cutting Thursday morning for the opening of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center (LSBDC) located in the Chamber of Commerce office in downtown Alexandria.
“We are so very excited about this partnership with the Chamber and the Louisiana SBDC and appreciate their continued support,” said Dr. Paul Coreil, LSUA Chancellor. “Our mission as central Louisiana’s university, is to provide resources and access to services that will grow our community and economy. The creation of the SBDC by the LSUA College of Business is a prime example of this commitment.”
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide free, confidential business-related assistance such as planning, marketing and how to secure funding to local entrepreneurs and business owners. They are found in all states and typically exist as a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and a local college or university. This collaboration creates more opportunities to provide entrepreneurs and business owners with the resources they need to feel confident in starting, running, and growing a business.
“The partnership with the Louisiana SBDC and LSUA aligns with the mission of the chamber to build a strong business community,” said Deborah Randolph, President, Central Louisiana Regional Chamber of Commerce. “With one-third of the workforce in the Alexandria- Pineville metro area working for companies with fewer than 50 employees, small businesses are essential for creating and retaining jobs.”
The center opened January 4 of this year and will be run by Business Consultant, Evelyn Jones. Jones has over 25 years of marketing and planning experience in a wide variety of industries including the arts, tourism and most recently served as marketing director for the statewide bank, Red River Bank for 15 years.
“Being part of this collaborative team that will provide much needed business assistance and create a positive impact in central Louisiana and surrounding parishes is an honor. I’m looking forward to working with entrepreneurs and business owners throughout the region and helping strengthen our economy,” said LSBDC Business Consultant, Evelyn Jones.
Through Jones’ extensive knowledge and deep roots in marketing and small businesses here in central Louisiana, she will not only be an asset to local entrepreneurs and business owners but to the regional economy as a whole.
On a national scale, America’s SBDC provided $5.6 billion in financing and created over 99,124 jobs nationwide. Between 2017-2018, it helped start 16,499 businesses, and in 2019, it generated $7 billion in new sales (according to its website).
For more information on the LSBDC at LSUA or for business help, contact Evelyn Jones at 318-545-5077 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Information can also be found at www.louisianasbdc.org.