WASHINGTON – United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today announced an agreement between the Louisiana Small Business Development Centers (LSBDC) and the City of Vidalia to open a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) satellite office at the Vidalia Technology Center.   The LSBDC intends to partner with the City of Vidalia to help small startup businesses get off the ground and help established small businesses grow.

“I am pleased to announce this new partnership that will improve entrepreneurship in rural areas of Central and Northeast Louisiana,” Sen. Landrieu said.  “Vidalia is a dynamic city that anchors the Delta Region and is an excellent location to host this satellite office.  I look forward to continuing to work with Mayor Copeland to promote economic development in Vidalia.”

“Vidalia is excited to be making major strides in improving technology and business development in the city,” said Mayor Copeland. “In our partnership with LSBDC, we will create more opportunities for citizens to establish and expand businesses.  Senator Landrieu and her staff have always been instrumental in developing economic development partnerships and this is no exception.”

“In keeping with the state-wide LSBDC and Louisiana Economic Development initiative for rural outreach, the State LSBDC Office at UL-Monroe is pleased to strengthen the partnership with the City of Vidalia,” said Rande Kessler, LSBDC State Director. “There is great potential in the collaboration of LSBDC centers and local economic development agencies.  That potential can spur entrepreneurial growth and success, especially in rural areas.  The partnership with Vidalia is an excellent example of combining resources for development across all of Louisiana’s parishes.

Until the technology center opens in the fall of 2014, the City of Vidalia will be providing office space within the information technology (IT) department for LSBDC.  The LSBDC satellite office will be serving clients in the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center.  The Vidalia Technology Center will be 6,000 square feet and include shared-space incubation facilities, small business training and counseling, and access to high-speed broadband Internet.

Last year, through its partnership with Louisiana Economic Development and the U.S. Small Business Administration, the LSBDC statewide network served 17,000 entrepreneurs – creating 964 new jobs, 165 new businesses, $54 million in capital, and helping generate $17 million in new state income tax revenue.

Designated and funded as the state’s principal provider of small business assistance by Louisiana Economic Development and the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Louisiana Small Business Development Center, hosted by University of Louisiana at Monroe, is the only statewide, nationally accredited program that provides business consulting to entrepreneurs at no cost. Through a network of university and community college supported centers, the LSBDC provides high quality one-on-one consulting, training and information resources to empower new and existing businesses.