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LSUA and City of Alexandria join forces to encourage small business development

Ten-week small business interactive workshop from March 1 until May 5
Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 12:08 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 22, 2021 at 5:26 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Thinking about starting a small business, but don’t know where to start?

As the pandemic continues to drag on, the City of Alexandria and the College of Business at LSUA are partnering together to encourage new business development here in Cenla.

“What we’re going to be doing from March first until the first week of May is, we’ve got a ten-week small business training interactive workshop,” said LSUA College of Business Dean Dr. Randall Dupont.

During the workshop, participants will learn everything from business planning and financial forecasting, to marketing and even creating a sustainable business model.

“We’re going to be meeting twice a week, Monday’s and Wednesday evenings. We’re going to be sharing with them some of the things that they really need to know to make their business thrive and survive,” said Dupont.

Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall said all the learning material should help aspiring entrepreneurs get on the right track.

“Many times people have a desire from an emotional standpoint to do business but they’re not really in a position to understand the ins and outs and all of the outcomes and things to expect,” said Hall.

Even in the midst of a pandemic, Dupont said now is the perfect time for anyone to start a small business here in Cenla.

“I think this is an excellent time to start a small business in Louisiana. I’ve always been amazed at the resilience of Louisianans.”

LSUA College of Business Dean, Dr. Randall Dupont

The ten-week training session, which is eligible to anyone interested in starting a business in Rapides or Grant parishes, or anyone who currently has a business that’s been in existence for under three years, starts next Monday, March 1.

“It’s good for economic development, it’s good for business development,” said Hall.

Dupont said the goal is simple: to have more small businesses here in Cenla.

“We need alternatives, okay, we need diversity of businesses for our area and small businesses provide that unique local flavor.”

LSUA College of Business Dean, Dr. Randall Dupont

These new options will add to the landscape of Cenla, and create jobs for hundreds, sometimes thousands of people.

“Small businesses really reflect the personality of the community, they’re an essential part of it,” said Dupont.

Each person will present a final elevator pitch at the end of the ten-week program.

Once the training session is over, entrepreneurs will continue to work with the small business development center in downtown Alexandria.

For more information and to fill out an application, you can send an email to business@lsua.edu.

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