Ascension Parish Library and SCORE Baton Rouge offer free, on-site counseling in Ascension Parish for new business startups and mentoring for existing businesses.

Counseling sessions are held at the library’s Gonzales and Dutchtown branches each month by appointment.

SCORE is a nonprofit association and resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Counselors are active or retired business owners and executives with extensive experience who follow the steps on “How to Start and Manage a Successful Business.”

Those attending will receive information about the business plan, financial forecast, marketing and sales, legal and accounting issues, business insurance and bank loan package preparation.

To learn more, visit the SCORE website at

To schedule a counseling appointment, call (225) 381-7130 or (877) 381-7130 and specify which library location you prefer: Gonzales or Dutchtown.