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New agency launched to help minority owned businesses across Louisiana

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 10:31 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - There’s a new resource on the way to help minority-owned businesses across Louisiana.

The Louisiana Minority Business Development Agency Business Center will host an open house Wednesday, Nov. 17, at the Valdry Center located on the campus of Southern University and A&M College from 6-8 p.m.

The agency was created to help minorities create new job opportunities, compete in the global economy, and expand their businesses.

“We’re looking to work with some of those organizations that have been at it for a while, and they are looking to grow their capacity to do business in a bigger way,” said Charletta Fortson, Program Director of the Louisiana MBDA Business Center.

Lenny Davis, the owner of Webb’s Barber Shop in Baton Rouge, says minority businesses play a huge role in the economic success of the community. He says having additional resources, similar to what the MBDA will provide, can elevate a lot of these companies to new heights.

“Especially when it comes to getting business loans and getting the things you need to operate,” said Davis.

Forston says they want to work with established companies large and small and give them the necessary tools that they need to grow.

“By working with us, we have a program called financial read. With this, we will work with small businesses to help them get ready and to be better positioned, whether it’s for loans, venture capital, or even crowdsourcing or crowdfunding,” said Fortson.

There are tons of resources already out there, but officials from the Louisiana MBDA says what they can provide is slightly different. This includes learning legal services, like trademark and copyright protection.

”We know there are other organizations around the city that provide these business development services, but one of the unique opportunities that we bring is that we are affiliated with the law center. This means that the businesses that work with us will be able to have access to the lawyers that are in our network,” said Fortson. “So, we will be able to provide certain legal services like contract reviews, and you know helping businesses understand what does this contract mean, what does it mean to enter into a joint venture agreement and why would you want to do that. A lot of the time, entering into those types of agreements are necessary in order for these businesses to do or participate in government contracting.”

The open house is open to the public; however, seating is limited. Interested guests are encouraged to register by clicking here, via phone 225.771.4359, or email at info@louisianambdacenter.com.

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