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Southeastern Louisiana University’s Small Business Development Center was recognized as the best in Louisiana and the nation’s five-state Region VI. The award was presented at a recent event at the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion and sponsored by Louisiana Economic Development and the U.S. Small Business Administration. From left are Senior Business Consultant Wayne R. Ricks, Assistant Director and Training Coordinator Sandy Summers, U.S. Small Business Administrator District Director Michael Ricks, Director William Joubert and Business Consultant Brandy M. Boudreaux.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond was recognized as the top U.S. Region VI SBDC for Excellence and Innovation.

The event, held recently at the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion and hosted by Louisiana Economic Development and the U.S. Small Business Administration, recognizes the contributions of business and business service organizations throughout the state and beyond.

SLU’s group was named the top SBDC for Louisiana and for SBA’s Region VI, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The honor gains them the distinction as one of the top 10 Small Business Development Centers in the nation based on four criteria: exceptional performance milestones, innovative events and programs, strong advocates for small business, and staff/center development and growth, according to a news release.

“Southeastern’s Small Business Development Center continues to excel, both in Louisiana and nationally, setting exemplary standard for service to area businesses and employers,” said President John L. Crain. “The SBDC is a valuable resource used by hundreds of businesses in the area and contributes significantly to the economic development of the state.”

Southeastern hosts one of about 1,000 SBDCs in the United States and one of nine in Louisiana. The Southeastern SBDC, under the direction of William Joubert, serves the five-parish region of Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes. Other staff members include Assistant Director and Training Coordinator Sandy Summers, Senior Business Consultant Wayne R. Ricks and Business Consultant Brandy M. Boudreaux.

“Our success could not have been achieved without the strong cooperation we receive from Don Pierson and the Louisiana Economic Development team, as well as local economic development agencies and chambers of commerce, as we work together to improve the economic climate and opportunities for the region,” said Joubert.

Located in the Southeast Louisiana Business Center near the university campus, the LSBDC works cooperatively with other elements in the center, including a business incubator, the Business Research Center and several area economic development organizations.