On Monday April 14, representatives from 13 area businesses and non-profits gathered at the Bastrop Visitor Center for an hour-long workshop geared to help organizations understand the importance of Facebook pages and how to manage and maintain a professional presence on a page.

Attendees' level of previous Facebook participation varied from having no presence on the social media platform to having a page but wanting to take it to the next level, like Kathy Gilbert, owner of Nature's Hideaway Nursery and Gardens.

“I have a business and I do some Facebook for my business, and I thought I might pick up a few pointers,” Gilbert said.

Other class members hope to convey important business information to the community and potential customers.

“We use it to communicate, not personally, but what we have available,” Lesia Coleman, leasing agent at Historic Bastrop High Apartments, said, “[Facebook is] a productive way to advertise other than soliciting.”

Coleman's manager sent her to the class in an effort to fine tune the Facebook presence for their business, and she plans to attend all three modules of the longer course.

The class, led by James Barnes of the North Delta Regional Planning and Development District and presented in conjunction with the Bastrop/Morehouse Chamber of Commerce, served as an overview of information that will be presented in greater detail at the three-part training course the organization also sponsors.

“The Chamber was really pleased to be a part of this and to be able to offer it to the community. This was not just for Chamber members. This was for any business owner in Morehouse Parish,” Dorothy Ford, Executive Director for the Bastrop/Morehouse Chamber of Commerce, said.

Ford also encouraged businesses and non-profits of all sizes to take the course whether they are just launching or already have firm footing in the community.

“I do recommend, if you can, that you take one of these classes...I think it's not just for start-up businesses. It's for any business owner,” Ford said.

The next set of evening classes for the Connect Morehouse Project begins in May. Classes will be held on May 12, 19 and 26.