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August 14, 2013

LSBDC at ULM and Minority Business Coalition present small business forum Aug. 17

The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, in partnership with the Minority Business Coalition (MBC), presents the first annual Small Business Forum and Mini Expo from noon to 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 17, at the Monroe Convention Center. This event is free to attend.

This event, held in conjunction with the 13th Annual Bayou Black Rodeo, is intended for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs seeking information about starting and growing a business in northeast Louisiana.

It is especially recommended for individuals interested in agriculture-based businesses.

“Our goal is to help small businesses start, grow and succeed,” said LSBDC State Director Mary Lynn Wilkerson.

“There are many resources available for small businesses to take advantage of. This event gives us an opportunity to provide access to those resources in a central location.”

Representatives from the federal, state, and the private sector will discuss resources available to help small businesses start and expand, access capital, apply for alternative lending options, sell their goods and services, and acquire industry specific training.

An overview of agriculture related loans and grants will be presented by the United States Department of Agriculture.

“There are numerous businesses in the region with fewer than three employees. 

Typically they can’t afford the training offered by large corporations, nor have time to dedicate to training,” said Rick Saulsberry President of the Minority Business Coalition Board.

“People need information and it is our goal to provide a venue where we can add value and assist those companies.”

Onsite registration begins at 11:30 a.m.

The program begins promptly at noon and ends at 2 p.m. There is no cost to attend.

To pre-register, visit or call 318-342-1224.

Representatives from the following agencies are scheduled to participate, LSBDC at ULM; Minority Business Coalition (MBC); Accion North Louisiana SCORE Chapter of Northeast Louisiana; United States Department of Agriculture (USDA; Downtown RiverMarket; IberiaBank; Future Assets; Operation Jumpstart; Disadvantage Business Enterprise; and the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

About the Louisiana Small Business Development Center:
Last year, through its partnership with Louisiana Economic Development and the U.S. Small Business Administration, the LSBDC statewide network served thousands of small businesses – creating 964 new jobs, 165 new businesses, $54 million in capital, and helping generate $17 million in new state income tax revenue.

Designated and funded as the state’s principal provider of small business assistance by Louisiana Economic Development, the Louisiana Small Business Development Center is the only statewide, nationally accredited program that provides business consulting to entrepreneurs at no cost.

Through a network of 10 centers, the LSBDC provides high quality one-on-one consulting, training and information resources to empower new and existing businesses.

LSBDC is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Louisiana Economic Development, and participating universities.

All SBA programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.  Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities and limited English proficiency (LEP) will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.

About the Minority Business Coalition:
The MBC is dedicated to providing business assistance, educational opportunities, seminars, and related services to hundreds of businesses throughout Northeast Louisiana.

The strength of the organization resides in its membership of successful entrepreneurs who are committed to their business and to the MBC’s continuing goal of expanding opportunities available to small, minority and women business owners.

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