Economic development forum Tuesday

Published 11:12 am Friday, September 20, 2013

Local businesspeople and other interested individuals who attend an Interagency Rural Economic Development Forum Tuesday will learn about how to make the rural economies on the Northshore grow.

The forum, “Growing the Northshore’s Rural Economies, Growing Stronger Businesses,” will be held from 8:30 a.m. until noon in the St. Tammany Parish Council Chambers, 21490 Koop Drive in Mandeville.

The event is open to small business stakeholders from St. Tammany and Washington parishes, including local small business bankers, elected officials, Chamber of Commerce members, financial intermediaries, economic development agencies and small business technical assistance providers.

The state of small business and the ways self-employment can be an economic development driver will be covered during the forum. Additionally, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City will make a rural-development-focused presentation on how to “Grow Your Own” Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.

The Washington Economic Development Foundation, St. Tammany Parish government, Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern, U.S. Department of the Treasury, U.S. Small Business Administration and Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta have partnered to host the forum.

WEDF Executive Director Ryan Seal said the sponsoring agencies are quite knowledgeable about rural economics and small business lending.

“They wanted to make sure the stakeholders in Washington and St. Tammany parishes are aware of all the resources available to them,” he said.

He said this event is unique in that it will focus on rural development, where many of the seminars of this type are geared toward people living in areas with larger populations, suburbs and inner cities.

The event is free, but advance registration is required. For more information, contact Nancy Montoya at 504-593-3256 or

Registration can be completed online by visiting and clinking on the link for the event.