Southeastern President John L. Crain and St. Tammany Corporation CEO Chris Masingill recently formalized a coordinated effort to expand access to services and resources to the business community in St. Tammany Parish through an innovative agreement. The partnership will provide enhanced technical assistance and increased collaborative efforts to best support businesses in St. Tammany Parish.

“We are proud to formally announce our ongoing partnership with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern to continue the work we’ve been doing collectively to strengthen and streamline business resource opportunities for our existing businesses in St. Tammany,” said Masingill. “Economic development is a team sport and creating stronger alignment and collaborations means more efficient service delivery and responsiveness to businesses in St. Tammany Parish, specifically our small business community. It is important that businesses have consistent access to programs and resources to help meet their needs, especially as we all continue to navigate the effects of the COVID-19 public health crisis.”

“One of the hallmarks of effective regional universities is a close alignment of the mission of the institution and the needs of the region,” said Crain. “An integral part of the mission of Southeastern is to support economic development across our region, which includes St. Tammany Parish. The award-winning Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern is one of the university’s most effective means by which we bring this part of our mission to life. Through this agreement with St. Tammany Corporation, I am thrilled to affirm Southeastern’s commitment to support economic and business development in St. Tammany Parish. I look forward to continuing to expand and enhance our support and services for businesses located here in conjunction with our partners at St. Tammany Corporation.”

Through this agreement, partners will work toward accomplishing specific outcomes, with the overarching goal being stronger businesses, more jobs, and a resilient economy. Both organizations have an interest in strategically aligning support for the St. Tammany Parish small business community. St. Tammany Corporation will serve as the primary partner in St. Tammany Parish with LSBDC. St. Tammany Corporation and the LSBDC will promote the joint efforts established under the agreement.

“Southeastern’s Small Business Development Center has been working closely with St. Tammany Parish Development District for over 20 years,” said Director of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Bill Joubert. “When St. Tammany Corporation was formed, Chris Masingill reached out to formalize our relationship and articulate the ways to leverage our resources for St. Tammany businesses to continue benefitting from our collective efforts. From projects and training to individual one-on-one business consulting, our center stands ready to assist the community.”

The agreement establishes a framework for both agencies to facilitate its commitment to move relationships with business and industry beyond a transactional level, but truly build relationships, partnerships, and coalitions that are transformational, creating an environment in which  businesses can grow and people and communities in St. Tammany can thrive.

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