The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University (LSBDC at MSU) was awarded and recognized as the U.S. Small Business Administration SBDC Service Excellence and Innovation Center for 2016, which acknowledges it as the top SBDC in the state. The SBA honored the LSBDC at MSU at the Governor’s Mansion on May 4 during the Louisiana Small Business Awards Ceremony.
SBA District Director Mike Ricks thanked Governor John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Economic Development (LED) Secretary Don Pierson for their support of small business, and said although large business brings big economic impact, “we really can’t not recognize the small business owners as well as it’s a key component to the state economy and the nation as well.”
Ricks said the LSBDC at MSU played a major role in the recovery process Southwest Louisiana after the disasters of Hurricane Rita in 2005. Since then, the center and the region significantly progressed. LSBDC at MSU helped start 202 businesses, create 589 jobs, retain another 340 jobs, secure $47 million in capital, and increase sales by $7 million. Located at the Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development (SEED) Center, the LSBDC at MSU continued to thrive throughout the last fiscal year.
“Helping entrepreneurs is an exciting, fulfilling mission,” Donna Little said, LSBDC at MSU Director. “We love working with individuals to pursue their passion and build a future for themselves and their families and employees here in Southwest Louisiana. It’s wonderful to be recognized for doing the work we enjoy.”
Little added, “I also want to recognize McNeese State University as a strong ally for our operation. We appreciate the support that McNeese has provided to our Center for over 30 years.”
Dr. Musa Essayyad, Dean of McNeese’s College of Business, said the university has been supporting the LSBDC to promote job creation and capital formation association with entrepreneurial small businesses in Southwest Louisiana region.
“We are proud of the achievement of our LSBDC and its leadership and staff who made a difference in guiding startups and entrepreneurs in building successful businesses in our region,” Dr. Essayyad said. “The economic spinoff is manifested in activities taken place at the SEED Center and its incubator.”
Small businesses make big contributions to Louisiana’s success, according to LED Secretary Don Pierson. LED and its partners provide a host of small business services to strengthen, retain and grow small businesses in Louisiana. During 2015, LED’s Small Business Services team and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network served more than 13,400 small businesses and individuals, directly resulting in 1,472 new jobs, 947 retained jobs and the launch of 175 new businesses. Those services generated an estimated sales increase of more than $35.4 million and new debt and equity investment of $51 million for Louisiana’s small businesses.
“Ninety-seven percent of our employers in Louisiana are small businesses, and they employ more than half of the private-sector workforce in our state,” Secretary Pierson said. “From that vital constituency, we are pleased to recognize some of our most enterprising and innovative business leaders with these Small Business Awards.”
For more information, to make an appointment, or for a list of upcoming training events, visit the LSBDC website at http://www.lsbdc.org