City to launch business initiative

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City hopes to boost businesses with resources

The City of Minden will launch, The Collaboration, during a news conference Thursday at 11:30 am at the Northwest Louisiana Technical College at 9500 Industrial Drive in Minden.

The Collaboration is an initiative designed to help entrepreneurs with starting or expanding a business in Minden.

What makes this strategy unique is that nine organizations: public and private, nonprofit and for-profit, federal, state, municipal and local financial institutions have joined forces to leverage their respective resources to help ensure that business startups and new expansion projects stand the test of time in Minden. Hand-holding technical assistance and training is an important component of this initiative. “No other community in Louisiana has marshalled together so many different resources in one place, at one time to help individuals living in one community to fulfill their personal dream of being a successful business owner,” James Graham, Economic Development Director of the City of Minden said. “This entire initiative is only occurring in Minden and in no other part of Louisiana.” Graham said what makes it historical is that Louisiana Economic Development has decided, after 30 years, to change its small business lending criteria making it easier for small businesses to be eligible for acquiring State-backed loans.

LED has decided to coordinate its small business development programs through Minden. “The Collaboration should be viewed as a pilot demonstration project that may be duplicated in other parts of Louisiana,” Graham said. “Banks do not tend to lend to startup businesses but through The Collaboration they are now more inclined to do so.” The organizations participating in The Collaboration include: The Consortium of Minden/Webster Parish (A 501 c 3 Private Nonprofit, Coordination) The Industrial Development Board of the City of Minden (A Public Nonprofit, Incentives) Northwest Louisiana Technical College (Educational/Technical Training Venue) Louisiana Small Development Business Center, Northwest & Central Region (Training) Louisiana Economic Development (State Economic Development Agency, Loans/Grants) MBL Bank Citizens National Bank Gibsland Bank & Trust Richland State Bank “Minden is a community of homegrown businesses. This initiative enables us to continue that tradition,” Minden Mayor Tommy Davis said.

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