OneRESOURCE: Capital Resources is inaugural event
It was quite by chance that OneAcadia came to know of the South Central Planning & Development Commission and the resources they provide to areas like Acadia Parish.
Laurie Suire, Executive Director of OneAcadia tells how the parish-wide business alliance was introduced to the SCPDC. “It was just some friends getting together when one of our partners overheard Monique Boulet speak of an organization she had just begun to work for. I love this story because it shines a light on how we can truly come together to build a meaningful organization for all of us….sharing resources and opportunities.”
Members of the OneAcadia Board later met with Boulet and Cullen Curole of the SCPDC and discovered that their organization, supported through a federal program under the Delta Regional Authority, offers an abundance of resources to our region including multiple federal loans. Upon hearing that there is more than $3 million available to qualified businesses, Suire knew this was a group they wanted to introduce to their partners.
“Community banks are the backbone of economic development. The additional funding opportunities that the SCPDC brings to the table in partnership with our financial institutions makes for a greater pool of capital resources for start-ups, business expansion and retention in our parish.”
It was around this concept that OneAcadia centered its first OneRESOURCE topic.
Suire welcomed the thirty-five partners attending the Wednesday luncheon at the Rice Palace emphasizing the goal of the parish-wide business alliance and expressing how OneRESOURCE is a pertinent partner benefit. “OneAcadia’s mission is to foster an environment for economic development in our parish, and sharing resources available to you for success is among one of the best ways we believe we can support that mission.”
After recognizing six of the eight OneAcadia partner financial institutions in attendance, Laurie introduced Cullen Curole who shared about the SCPDC, its role as a quasi-government agency linking communities with federal resources, and the federal loan programs for which Acadia Parish specifically qualifies. The largest pool of funds, Cullen shared, comes from “Katrina money” appropriated by the federal government to be loaned at a low interest rate for subsidizing growth in the affected areas.
Curole emphasized that their position is to work with community banks to grant these types of loans. “We are not in competition with banks. Instead we are an opportunity for them to service their customers by providing another avenue for them to find funding for projects they may not be able to otherwise fully support. We want to work with you to help entrepreneurs and businesses realize the growth they seek.”
OneRESOURCE is an educational series for OneAcadia partners designed to equip them with knowledge and tools for business.
To date, OneAcadia has more than eighty-five partners. Businesses interested in joining may call 337-789-5244 or visit the organization’s web site www.OneAcadia.com.