POSTED: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 7:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 7:04am
SCOTLANDVILLE, La — Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden’s Office of Business Development will hold an outreach program for small businesses on Thursday, Nov. 1 from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at the Scotlandville Branch Library, 7373 Scenic Highway.
Stacie Williams, Mayor’s Holden’s Business Development Coordinator, said the topics of discussion at the forum will include the Small Business Opportunity Program and the Small Business Recovery Loan Program, a lending program created in the wake of Hurricane Gustav that still has funds available.
“If you were in business during Gustav, or if you live in one of the five targeted areas and you want to start up a new business, you can qualify for a preferred loan rate,” Williams said.
The five targeted areas are Northdale, Scotlandville, Zion City, the Choctaw Corridor and Melrose East, she said.
She noted Southern University’s Small Business Development Center is a partner in the outreach effort and will assist applicants in packaging information for the Small Business Recovery Loan Program.
Southern University officials will be on hand at the Nov. 1 meeting, along with representatives from program’s two micro-lenders, Seedco Financial and Accion Louisiana, Williams said.
Accion Louisiana provides loans in the $500 to $100,000 range and Seedco provides loans in the $50,000 to $250,000 range for qualified applicants, Williams said.
The outreach meeting will also cover information about the Small Business Opportunity Program, which offers assistance with government procurement opportunities. There will also be a discussion about the events sponsored by the program such as Contractors College, which will be held on Saturday, Dec. 1, and Sunday, Dec. 2, to instruct businesses about how to compete for government contracts for goods and services.
Business with Baton Rouge is part of the Mayor’s Small Business Investment Initiative administered by the Office of Community Development to stimulate the local economy through small business growth. The program is funded by an SBA grant obtained by the Mayor for supporting entrepreneurship, creating jobs and stimulating local economic recovery and growth.
The program is coordinated by City-Parish Business Development Coordinator Stacie Williams, who recently joined the City-Parish from the public and non-profit sectors, where she coordinated vendor programs, designed and facilitated training, worked to increase procurement opportunities through training, mentoring and partnerships with private and public entities.