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Small Business Development Center honored by city

August 16, 2013

The honors for the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Greater New Orleans Region, a longtime Loyola University New Orleans collaboration, continue this summer as the city of New Orleans recognizes the center for its accomplishments.

New Orleans councilmember Susan G. Guidry issued a proclamation from the city of New Orleans to honor the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Greater New Orleans Region July 11 at City Hall. That proclamation marks the award earned earlier this summer, when the center was recognized in Washington D.C., as the top small business development center in the nation.

“Loyola’s long history of commitment to the center has been instrumental to its success. Shortly after I became director of the center in 2003, state budget cuts forced a reduction of small business development centers across the state and this one was targeted to close. If it weren't for Loyola's commitment, there would not currently be a regional LSBDC partnership and there would have never been a national award,” said Carmen Sunda, director of the center.

Loyola has hosted the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Greater New Orleans Region since 1985, making it the longest-standing partner in a collaborative partnership with Delgado Community College and Xavier University of Louisiana. Through this partnership, the center is able to expand its reach throughout Greater New Orleans and beyond.

“The staff of the LSBDC has worked tirelessly since Katrina assisting businesses throughout the city in recovery and expansion. It is humbling, but rewarding to receive recognition from the City of New Orleans for contributions,” Sunda said. The focus of the center is to provide high quality, professional assistance to small businesses with an emphasis on in-depth, substantive longer term, outcome-oriented counseling and training. It operates with an outreach business model and serves seven parishes in Greater New Orleans with outreach to three additional parishes.

The Excellence and Innovation Award received by the center in Washington, D.C., 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 for the award.

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

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