Business Assistance Center (BAC)

The Southeast Louisiana Black Chamber of Commerce has been a beacon of light for Black and minority businesses for over seven years. Many businesses exist today because of the resources and directions of the Chamber.

The focus of the Business Assistance Center (BAC) is to help minorities, Women, and disadvantaged businesses in the New Orleans area whose sole survival depends upon external assistance. We will recruit, rank, evaluate, and provide in-store assistance to help develop business opportunities for 11 entrepreneurs residing in the City of New Orleans. Small business development, because of its scale of operation, represents the kind of activity in which community-based organizations and minorities can play major roles. Moreover, in neighborhoods, small firms provide important tax revenues to local governments. A broadened small business development effort can provide jobs that are accessible to city's neighborhood residents and can also lead to revitalization of economically distressed areas.

The Chamber will establish a Business Assistance Center to incorporate it into our overall Chamber programs. Informal surveys taken by the Chamber's Economic Development Committee has found that there is a dire need for a Business Development Specialist whose primary responsibility would be to take the service to the people. Many entrepreneurs cannot afford time or seminars, but would like to take a few moments once or twice to get on-site training in their place of business.

The Chamber's mission to aid economically disadvantaged businesses correlated strongly with the Louisiana Department of Economic Development - Division of Economically Disadvantaged Business Development in aiding the entrepreneurs with managerial, technical, and financial assistance to certified disadvantaged Louisiana businesses. Through the Business Assistance Center (BAC) we provide the actual hands-on-training to properly prepare these organizations. Areas of assistance will be as follows:

  1. Assistance in helping minority businesses to complete their small and disadvantaged business certification forms with the City, State, the numerous quasi-public agencies (Airports, S&WB;,Port, RTA, Convention Center, School Board, Levee Board, State Universities, Hospitals, Audubon Zoo ,HANO, etc.) and private firms with certification offices such as Entergy, Martin-Merletta, Bell South, Casinos and Gulf South Minority Purchasing Council.

  2. Assisting firms with marketing and follow-up with the above agencies and firms after the certification process is completed.

  3. Assisting Firms in "selling to the federal government" by registering them the various General Services Administration Offices in the Region and introducing each to the appropriate procurement officers.

  4. Assisting construction related firms in the preparation of their SBA-8-A certification applications.

  5. Development of formal marketing plans geared towards increasing both private and public purchasing opportunities for the small businesses selected.

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