Shared from the 4/4/2017 American Press eEdition

Guest Columnist

Celebrating area’s best source for business help


The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University joined about 1,000 other centers across the country to celebrate SBDC Day on March 22. The day was the inaugural national, collective proclamation of the success and impact America’s SBDCs have in economic development and the small business community. Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach declared it “Small Business Development Center Day.”

At our reception, we celebrated our clients’ successes. It was a thrill and a treat to hear Reta Durgan of Mama Reta’s Kitchen, Ethan Miller of Advanced Audio Video Technologies and Brenda Hill of The Voice explain how our guidance and consultation helped their small businesses get started and grow.

For over 30 years, the LSBDC at McNeese has worked with entrepreneurs and business owners. In the past 10 years, we’ve worked with over 2,500 entrepreneurs. We’ve helped our clients open about 200 new businesses, create over 500 new jobs and secure about $45 million in financing. We’ve also helped existing businesses retain over 350 jobs – that’s employees who can keep on raising their families. About 4,500 individuals have attended our workshops on topics ranging from starting and financing a small business to government contracting to using social media.

Besides our everyday work of assisting entrepreneurs, we also work with interns from McNeese’s Master of Business Administration program. These young adults meet with selected clients, they research questions and topics for clients and they help us run our office. As a companion to their academic studies, this real-world experience in entrepreneurship is valuable for the graduate assistants. The LSBDC staff also gains a different perspective through the eyes of the millennials. Working with us this semester are Paola Perez Suarez and Sulochana Shrestha.

You can take advantage of confidential counseling from the experienced consultants at the LSBDC at McNeese at no out-of-pocket cost. The counseling is “pre-paid” – by McNeese, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Louisiana Economic Development and other funding agencies – so entrepreneurs can get help with business plans, financial projections, marketing ideas and many other aspects of starting and running a small business.

We invite you to add yourself to the list of successful entrepreneurs who have wisely connected to the LSBDC at McNeese. Call us at 337-475-5529 to schedule an appointment. Visit www. to learn more about us.


Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and Louisiana Department of Economic Development. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.


Donna Little is the director of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University. Contact her at 475-5945 or

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