Grow St. Bernard Recognizes Local Businesses For Completion Of Program

Local business owners and professionals recognized for completing Grow St. Bernard Program including (from left to right) Lori Noto, Sabrina Schmidt, Gabriel Harvey, Deborah Keller, Elizabeth Borne, Marc Rea, Jessica Defraites, Jessica Reab, Kelly Sheeran, Lisa McCracken, Lesichia Hills, Joy Bruce, Shane Quirk, Cindy Rychaert, Sandra Avalos, Wendy Haines, Tim Clements, Heather Hutton, and Rachel Roussel.

CHALMETTE, LA – Starting and growing a business can be one of the most challenging endeavors undertaken by an individual in this day and age.  Business owners and their employees are often faced with the need to develop skills and attain knowledge they may not possess in order to meet the demands of a market that is constantly evolving.

         Grow St. Bernard is a seminar series created to address the disparity between educational opportunities available to startups and the needs of entrepreneurs strapped for time and resources. The program, a joint venture between the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation (SBEDF) and the St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce, celebrated the completion of its first cohort on Tuesday, June 13.

         Grow St. Bernard’s inaugural cohort of 19 businesses includes law offices, restaurants, retailers and a variety of professional services providers spanning throughout the parish. “This year’s participants were quite diverse, and all shared the desire to become more informed business owners,” said Andrew Jacques, SBEDF executive director. “We couldn’t be more thrilled with the overwhelming interest the program has received.  It validates our belief that Grow St. Bernard, and professional development programs like it, are providing a service that companies are looking for to remain competitive and viable.”

         Organizations recognized for completion of the program include: Clements Insurance Services, Brewster’s Restaurant & Lounge, Pirogue’s Whiskey Bayou, Sandra & AA Stucco, LLC, Casa New Orleans, The Cottage Store, Café Aquarius, Big Chief Vapor Products, Crazy Cajun’s Fish Shack, Deborah D. Keller & Partners, Devoted Dance Academy, Evanschmidt Design, Functional Health & Wellness, Lori Noto Law Firm, Reactive Digital Systems, Shoemaker Chiropractic, Tabary & Borne, LLC, The Lady’s Garden & Gifts, and Leeside.

         The program hosted seminars about small business bookkeeping, marketing and social media strategy, funding and alternative financing, business planning and several other pertinent topics. They also included presentations and panel discussions lead by experts in their field including Editor of The Advocate, Peter Kovacs, Amy Boyle-Collins of Gambel Communications, SBA District Director Mick Ricks, and Zack Smith, owner of Zack Smith Photography.

         Tim Clements, past chairman of the St. Bernard Chamber Board of Directors and a member of the 2017 Grow St. Bernard cohort, believes programming like this will leave a lasting impression. “All too often, we see businesses open and close too quickly due to lack of basic business knowledge,” said Clements. “The knowledge offered through Grow St. Bernard will reduce this turnover and create more new and lasting businesses, which will lead to an overall stronger business community.”

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Categories: Awards/Honors, Today’s Business News