On Thursday night, the Louisiana Small Business Development Center hosted a workshop focusing on starting and financing a small business at the Bastrop Visitor Center.

The workshop, which was led by Barry W. Parker, project director with LSBDC, provided a comprehensive overview of the main points one must consider when planning to open a small business and zeroed in on the basics of financing, such as preparing a detailed business plan that takes into consideration target markets, local demographics and details such as zoning requirements and licensing needs.

The workshop also provided participants with demographical information about Morehouse Parish. This data helps prospective business owners to establish if there are enough individuals in their target market available locally. According to Parker, the LSBDC can provide this data and many more statistics and resources when one-on-one sessions are held with current or potential small businesses.

Each participant left the session with literature about the LSBDC as well as a booklet dedicated to helping a small business develop a business plan — a necessary step for securing financing. Attendees were also encouraged to contact the LSBDC's Monroe office at 700 University Ave. in Monroe to further discuss their business plans.

This particular workshop was a standalone session, but when discussing the class previously, Kay King, President/CEO of the Morehouse Economic Development Corporation, said similar classes are hosted regularly by LSBDC.