Business startup seminar set in Slidell

A free seminar designed to help individuals interested in starting and financing a business is being held from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 19 at the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce at 1808 Front St. in Slidell.

The event is being held by the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Louisiana University, SCORE, St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation and the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce.

Topics include writing a business plan, sources of funds for startup and expansion, small business resources and required licenses.

Register or get more information by calling (985) 549-3831 or going online to www.lsbdc.org.

LSU offers masters in digital media arts

LSU has launched the state’s first professional master’s program in Digital Media Arts and Engineering to help meet staffing needs of the growing digital media sector.

Within the next three years, there will be more than 5,000 new technology jobs in the state as 12 technology companies establish offices here.

“This new program in Digital Media Arts and Engineering represents a smart step by LSU to capitalize on an important, promising trend in Louisiana’s economic development,” said state Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret. “The fastest-growing industry sector in our state is now software and digital media. Targeted higher education programs like this one will be critical components in growing and sustaining this technology sector in Louisiana for years to come.”

“This program is designed to prepare our workforce to meet the needs of the existing and future film, technology and digital arts companies throughout the region,” Marc Aubanel, director of the Digital Media Arts and Engineering program, said.

Students in the two-year program will work together in teams in a studio environment on digital media arts projects, where they will take their ideas from concept to commercialization.

DMAE is housed in the LSU Digital Media Center.

Land conservation funds available

Federal funds are available to help landowners with the cost of installing conservation practices in priority watersheds in Acadia, Catahoula, Lafayette, Tangipahoa and Vermilion parishes

Funds from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program are being provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s National Water Quality Initiative.

To be eligible for this year’s first ranking period, a producer in Louisiana must submit an application to NRCS by Feb. 20.

Water sheds for which funds are available are the Indian Bayou Watershed in Acadia, Lafayette and Vermilion parishes; Lake Louis in Catahoula Parish; East Fork Big Creek and Big Creek in Tangipahoa Parish.

More information is available through local USDA Service Centers or www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted.

Charter raises Internet speeds in 3 parishes

Charter Communications says it has doubled Internet speeds from 30 Mbps to 60 Mbps for customers in Lafourche, St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes and surrounding areas.

The company launched its Charter Spectrum suite of TV, Internet and voice services in the area. Customers also gained access to more than 200 high-definition video channels and advanced voice service that includes unlimited nationwide calling.