Louisiana Small Business Development Center gets top honor

The Louisiana Small Business Development Center serving the greater New Orleans region has been named the top such office in the nation, earning the U.S. Small Business Administration’s SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award.

The Small Business Association will present the award to center director Carmen Sunda in a ceremony during National Small Business Week in Washington, June 17 to June 21.

The center is a collaborative partnership of Loyola University New Orleans, Delgado Community College, Southern University at New Orleans and Xavier University of Louisiana.

The SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award is given annually to the SBDC program that demonstrates excellence in providing value to small businesses and advancing program delivery and management through innovation.

The Louisiana office was selected from approximately 1,000 centers across the nation.

The center’s ultimate goal is to help small businesses expand, rebuild and recover, Sunda said.

“My team and I are honored and humbled to receive this recognition,” she said. “We think of ourselves as the ‘boots on the street.’ ”

Sen. Mary Landrieu, chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Small Business Committee, praised Sunda and her team.

“I look forward to working with Carmen, the Greater New Orleans’ LSBDC, and SBDCs around the country to ensure that small businesses are given the capital, counseling, contracting, and trade tools they need to succeed,” Landrieu said.