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Shreveport-Bossier good for new small businesses - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Shreveport-Bossier good for new small businesses

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SHREVEPORT, La. -

A little more than 20 years ago, Bret McCoy left his job as a healthcare administrator to open his small business adventure.

"Wanted something business to business," McCoy said. "Wanted something Monday thru Friday, and I settled on FastSigns."

McCoy decided to go with a franchise—one with a successful business plan already in place.

"They have a proven model," he said. "Systems in place support in place, and I just felt more comfortable with that model than just starting out on my own."

For those who do decide to start from the ground up, the Small Business Development Center at LSU-S is a free resource that can help.

"Everything you can think about. If you want to start a small business, we have professionals—people who are in business or have been in business—that help those folks get started," said Rande Keisser, statewide director of Louisiana's SBDC. "Or, if they're coming to us as an established businesses, how to take it to the next level."

Keisser said 17,000 small businesses were helped by the Small Business Development Center through out the state from October 2012 to September 2013. That created more than 950 new jobs.

The LSU-S office helped more than 350 clients with more than 200 of those being new businesses. And more than 130 jobs were created in the Shreveport area during that time.

"It's a good platform because the area's quality of life is good here. Accessibility is good. Transportation is good," Keisser said. "A negative would be there's a lot of small businesses, there's a lot of competition."

There's not as much competition for two groups-- technology and anything in the medical field. Keisser said you could have a start up in those industries just about anywhere.

But he said this is a good area for a supply chain business—especially with big businesses like Benteler Steel building a new plant here.

"You've got all sorts of contracting, plumbing, electricians, painters: anyone that you can think of to construct a building," he said. ‘Then once you have that, then you need all sorts of support services for the operation, for an entire range of maintenance, production and management."

And once they need signs for their property, they can come to McCoy at Fast Signs. Just another small business helping other companies be successful.

The Small Business Development Center is state and federally funded and is free to anyone seeking business advice. They offer workshops and private counseling. To learn more about what the SBDC can do for you click here

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