The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern has been selected to receive the 2015 SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award, making it the top center in the United States.
The award will be presented at the White House by the U.S. Small Business Administration on May 8 during National Small Business Week.
“Over the years, our SBDC has provided invaluable advice and assistance to businesses and entrepreneurs in the region we serve,” said Southeastern President John L. Crain. “Their work to enhance the economy of our region is a testament to the vital role Southeastern plays as a regional university.”
Crain said the efforts of the Southeastern SBDC staff have been recognized previously with state and regional awards, primarily for developing innovative ideas and providing excellent service to its clients.
Southeastern is one of about 1,000 SBDCs in the United States and one of 10 in Louisiana. The Southeastern SBDC, under the direction of William Joubert, serves the five-parish region of Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes. Other staff members include Assistant Director and Training Coordinator Sandy Summers and business consultants Wayne R. Ricks and Brandy M. Boudreaux.
In recent years, the SBDC has assisted more than 3,600 clients, aided in the development of more than 220 new businesses and expansions, helped businesses create 2,500 new jobs and obtain more than $328 million in capital formation.
“For over 20 years the LSBDC at Southeastern Louisiana University has been a champion for small businesses throughout south Louisiana,” said U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise. “It was a great honor to congratulate Director William Joubert and his team at the LSBDC in person earlier this week for receiving this much-deserved national award. As the representative for Louisiana’s First Congressional District, I am proud to fight alongside the LSBDC to protect and promote the business community by advocating for legislation that grows a Main Street economy instead of a Washington, D.C. economy.”
“Your hard work, innovative ideas and dedication to your employees and community have helped you build an outstanding business that has strengthened your state’s economy,” said Maria Contreras-Sweet, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, in a letter notifying Joubert of the award and inviting him to the presentation in Washington.
The SBDC received a 2010 state-level Excellence and Innovation Award and was recognized two years later as the top center in the five-state region of Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
“Our success could not have been achieved without the strong cooperation we receive from area economic development agencies and chambers of commerce as we work together to improve the economic climate and opportunities for the region,” said Joubert.
Located in the Southeast Louisiana Business Center near the university campus, the SBDC works cooperatively with other elements in the center, including a business incubator, the Business Research Center and several area economic development organizations.