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Small business development center named top in nation

May 31, 2013

The LSBDC GNOR was recently recognized for its efforts during the Small Business Awards reception held at the Louisiana Governor's Mansion. L to R: Jason El Koubi, Louisiana economic development assistant secretary; Carmen Sunda, LSBDC GNOR center director; Mary Lynn Wilkerson, LSBDC state director.

The Louisiana Small Business Development Center Greater New Orleans Region, a Loyola University New Orleans collaboration, has been named the top small business development center in the nation, earning the U.S. Small Business Administration’s SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award. Center director Carmen Sunda will accept the award during a private ceremony held in conjunction with National Small Business Week in Washington, D.C., June 17 to 21.

The Louisiana Small Business Development Center Greater New Orleans Region is a collaborative partnership of Loyola, Delgado Community College, Southern University at New Orleans and Xavier University of Louisiana. Through this partnership, the center has been able to expand its reach throughout Greater New Orleans and beyond.

William Locander, Ph.D., dean of Loyola’s College of Business, applauded the center for its accomplishment. “Under Carmen's leadership and through all their hard work, the LSBDC Greater New Orleans Region certainly merits recognition at this level. I am particularly proud that they are aligned with Loyola and the College of Business.”

The Excellence and Innovation Award is given annually to the Small Business Development Center program that demonstrates excellence in providing value to small businesses and advancing program delivery and management through innovation. The center was selected from 1,000 centers nationwide to receive the award.

“My team and I are honored and humbled to receive this recognition,” Sunda said. “We think of ourselves as the ‘boots on the street.’ We just roll up our sleeves and try to do what needs to be done.” The award comes as the Louisiana Small Business Development Center network celebrates its 30th anniversary.

Since joining the LSBDC in 2003, Sunda and her team have served 9,501 clients and trained 18,527 individuals. The team helped clients create 2,113 jobs and save 3,599, secure $123 million in capital, start 340 new businesses and increase sales by $477 million.

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