Economic and small business development organizations are once again partnering to host Ascension Parish’s second annual Ascension Small Business Power Week. Events will take place across the parish during the week of Aug. 15 to Aug. 19 and will showcase programs, services, and organizations that are available to help small businesses grow from idea to expansion; including areas such as lending, marketing, and business plan creation.

Wednesday, Aug. 17 is Small Business Power Day in Ascension Parish as proclaimed by Parish President, Kenny Matassa. A number of free workshops, a networking luncheon, and the Ascension Chamber Business Expo (presented by St. Elizabeth) will be hosted starting with registration at 7:30 a.m. in the second floor banquet hall at Lamar Dixon Expo Center.

“Small business owners are invited to participate in workshops and a luncheon featuring a state-of- the-economy report provided by a representative of the Louisiana Department of Economic Development and Mike Eades, Executive Director of the Ascension Economic Development Corporation,” said Lee Melancon, acting Executive Director of the Microbusiness Network of Louisiana (MBNLA).

The luncheon is also a networking meeting for a number of organizations including the Ascension Hospitality Management Association, the Ascension Chamber of Commerce, the Donaldsonville Chamber of Commerce and others. There is a $25 charge for all luncheon attendees. The morning workshops will feature speakers on lending and financing, digital marketing and social media, and small business resources available to entrepreneurs.

“Small Business Day is hosted by a collaborative of members of the Microbusiness Network of Louisiana in partnership with the Ascension Economic Development Corporation, the Ascension Chamber of Commerce, and the Louisiana Department of Economic Development," Melancon said. “The MBNLA is a small business practitioner organization focused on providing resources to small businesses through thought leadership of its constituent members."

Registration is required as seats are limited.

Workshops and small business power days will be featured across the parish. On Monday, Aug. 15 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., attendees can participate in a free workshop entitled, “Learn How to Get Assistance to Start or Grow a Small Business” to be held at the Mission St. Event Center (36501 Mission St., Prairieville).

“Each community in the Parish will celebrate its own Small Business Power Day where attendees can learn about the resources available to help them start or grow their small businesses. During the free workshops, attendees are encouraged to bring questions, business plans, financials, and other related information to get help directly from the experts during a series of power coaching sessions,” said Mike Eades, Executive Director of the Ascension Economic Development Corporation.

The event dates, times and locations are as follows: Tuesday, Aug. 16 - Sorrento Small Business Day to be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Sorrento Civic Center (7471 Main St., Sorrento); Tuesday, Aug. 16 - Donaldsonville Small Business Day to be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Rossie's (510 Railroad Ave., Donaldsonville); and Thursday, Aug. 18 - Gonzales Small Business Day to be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Gonzales Library (708 S Irma Ave., Gonzales).

The 2016 Ascension Small Business Power Week partners include Ascension Economic Development Corporation, Microbusiness Enterprise Corporation of Ascension, SCORE, SBA, America's Small Business Development Center, LiftFund, TruFund, Goodwork Network SELA Women’s Business Center, dezinsINTERACTIVE, the Ascension Chamber of Commerce, the Donaldsonville Chamber of Commerce, and the Louisiana Department of Economic Development.

Ascension Small Business Power Week workshops are free. There is a $25 charge for all luncheon attendees. Pre-registration is required for all events at smallbizpowerweek.eventbrite.com. For more information about the Ascension Small Business Power Week, contact Lisa Thibodaux at the Microbusiness Network of Louisiana at (225) 752-1455 or visit lamicrobusiness.org or on Facebook @smallbizpowerweek.