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February 22, 2008

Congressional Delegation thanked for their support of Northeast Louisiana Business and Community Development Center

The University of Louisiana at Monroe College of Business Administration and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center publicly thanked U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander and community leaders for their assistance in securing $450,000 for the new Northeast Louisiana Business and Community Development Center. The new center will be located at ULM.

ULM also recognized the support of U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, U.S. Sen. David Vitter, Monroe Chamber of Commerce President Sue Nicholson, and Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo.

CBA Dean Ron Berry opened the event by saying, “Congressman Alexander, on behalf of the College of Business Administration, ULM, and indeed the entire region, thank you for your efforts to secure the funds to develop the center. Because of these incredible efforts, we will be able to leverage the resources we have in the College to make a significant difference in economic development in our region.”

The new center will advance entrepreneurship and support economic development by creating a regional business incubator and by offering community development services. “We thought it was very appropriate to use the resources of the College of Business, our faculty, our students, and our staff to make a difference in our community by providing training. We believe we have the expertise to help. Entrepreneurial development is critical to our region—we have to grow our own businesses and help them to succeed.”

Jeffrey Everson, representing Sen. Mary Landrieu, mentioned that it is often overlooked in urban areas “how vital it is to a rural area to have a small business community development center…Monroe is the heartbeat of northeast Louisiana, and a lot of communities are dependent on the services that cannot be provided anywhere else but Monroe. The small business community development center is a fantastic program, and we’re proud to be a part of it. We are happy to see a program like this exist and succeed in northeast Louisiana.”

Dean Berry then thanked ULM President James Cofer for his strong support of the College of Business and its programs. “We are very fortunate to be able to share in his vision of this university. We sincerely appreciate his support for all of our endeavors, and especially for this center.”

President Cofer echoed that the center “is important to this region and this institution. We are so very proud to have the Northeast Louisiana Business and Community Development Center office here, and to be able to reach out and touch the entire region. We’ve always said that education is economic development. We produce that intellectual capital that helps produce that economic capital—you can’t have one without the other. We’re very pleased that our Congressional Delegation continues to stand behind what we do.”

Cofer praised the northeast Louisiana Congressional Delegation for going to Washington D.C. as a well-founded unit to represent the needs of the region, making all involved a stronger, more effective force. “We’re very pleased that we can work together.”

Rep. Alexander emphasized the necessity of earmarks. “They are as important as this developmental center is here, not only for helping and encouraging small businesses to come here, it aids those who are here and helps with problems they might have. Eighty percent of us work with small businesses. They touch the lives of all of us in some form or fashion.”

He concluded by praising President Cofer. “Thank you for your leadership. It’s a pleasure to work with you and the team that you have put together here. Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of it.”

Rep. Alexander then presented a check for $450,000 dollars to the ULM College of Business Administration.

For more information, e-mail Berry at

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