BATON ROUGE, LA — Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden’s Business with Baton Rouge program is partnering with TruFund Financial (formerly Seedco Financial), Capital One Bank and East Baton Rouge Schools to host a new Contractor’s College to help small construction businesses compete for city and state contracts.
Applications are now being accepted for the new collaborative program that will be held this Saturday to help small contractors secure the bonding, insurance and certification required for city and state contracts.
Contractor’s College will be held at the EBR Schools Professional Development Center, 3000 N. Sherwood Forest Blvd., on Saturday, October 5, from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided.
The program is free and open to all contractors, regardless of annual revenue. Applications for Contractor’s College should be completed and submitted online by Thursday, Oct. 3. Simply go to www.ContractorsCollege.com  to register.
“This new Contractor’s College is another step in our continuing effort to strengthen the local pool of qualified contractors and to help small business owners achieve success,” Mayor Holden said.
StartSmart LLC, a company specializing in corporate training, supplier development consulting and strategic business planning consulting, will assist with the training sessions. Start Smart is well known for its supplier diversity program consulting and supplier development consulting services that allow organizations of all sizes to improve supply chain participation by small businesses (SBEs), minority-owned businesses (MBEs) and women-owned businesses (WBEs). For more information, go to http://startsmartllc.com/ 
Business with Baton Rouge is part of the Mayor’s Small Business Investment Initiative administered by the Mayor’s 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.