SEED Center grand opening set for August

By By John Guidroz / American Press

A ceremony celebrating the grand

opening of the Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic

Development Center — a business

incubator for the five-parish area — is set for 2 p.m. Aug. 16,

according to George Swift, executive director/CEO of the Southwest

Louisiana Economic Development Alliance.

Adrian Wallace, director of the facility’s business incubator, said that while the 50,000-square-foot building is complete,

they are still waiting to bring in office furniture.

It is located behind McDonald’s on Ryan Street.

“Everybody is anxious to move in,” Wallace said. “At last we can actually see a definite end. With a construction project

this large, you can expect delays in one way or another.”

Swift said Monday that ordering furnishings for the facility “took a lot longer than anticipated.” After the grand opening,

he said it may take some time before the Alliance moves into the facility.

“We’re not sure 100 percent when we will move in,” he said.

Wallace said the facility is unique for Southwest Louisiana, especially with the announcement of major economic projects like

the Sasol expansion in Westlake. The SEED Center will house up to 35 people wanting to start their own small business.

“We believe that having all these resources concentrated in one location … the impact is going to be phenomenal,” Wallace

said.

Swift said the winners of the Business Pitch competition will likely move into the SEED center in August or September. The

contest winners won’t have to pay rent for six months once they move into the building.

In addition to housing the Alliance, the building will also house the McNeese State University Small Business Development

Center, the Service Corps of Retired Executives and the Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center.

The facility is a partnership between McNeese, the Alliance, the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury and the city of Lake Charles.