News Column: COASTAL CURRENTS
Submitted: June 6, 2012
Alan Matherne, Coastal & Fisheries Outreach Agent
Terrebonne, Lafourche, and Assumption Parishes; LSU AgCenter/Sea Grant
Financial literacy workshops for charter & commercial fishermen
As charter and commercial fishermen, many of our local operators are extremely good at catching and harvesting fish and seafood. Unfortunately, many times these same operators are not quite as good on the business and financial end of their operations.
Well, if that’s your situation … don’t despair, there is help available. Are you interested in learning more about financial skills to improve your business? If so, then you’ll want to make plans to attend one or more Financial Literacy Workshops being hosted by the South Central Planning & Development Commission (SCPDC). The workshops are free and are designed to help charter and commercial fishermen learn the basic financial skills that can improve their businesses. Topics to be covered at the sessions include: QuickBooks, marketing, time management, business plans, banking skills, financial statements, credit card processing, and IPhone/IPad usage.
I know, I know … you’re busy out on the water making a living and don’t have the time to spare to come out to the workshops. Not a problem. If you can’t make it, just send your spouse, bookkeeper, family member, or employee in your place.
The sessions are being conducted in two 4-event Workshop Series. Session One began on June 4 and continues through July 9. Session Two starts on July 30 and ends on September 10.
Also, as a bonus, beginning with the June 11 session, the LSU AgCenter/Sea Grant Program will be conducting hands-on, mini-workshops to enroll commercial fishermen and seafood dealers in the LaTer Direct Seafood Program. If you’re a commercial seafood producer or dealer and want to learn how to sell your products directly to consumers, you will want to attend. We’ll sign you up on the LaTerDirectSeafood.com website and show you how to make more money by selling your premium quality seafood products directly. We have Sellers in the program now and they are selling their products now. Don’t miss out. This is your chance to take control of your commercial seafood business and increase your profits.
All workshops begin at 6:00 PM and continue until 9:00 PM. They will be held at the South Central Planning & Development Commission office, 5048 West Main Street, Houma LA 70360.
Also, the folks at SCPDC tell me that they can help with low interest Small Business Loans. So, if you need help with financing, contact them and find out what they can do for you in your situation.
Finally, the Louisiana Workforce Commission is sponsoring a basic business class for commercial fishermen. This is set to begin on June 12th, has certain prerequisites, and for qualifying attendees provides for grants up to $5,000 (to pay for equipment lost or damaged because of the oil spill.) For more information, contact Gail or Jane at 985-876-8990.
Alan Matherne is the LSU AgCenter/Sea Grant Coastal & Fisheries Outreach Agent for Terrebonne, Lafourche, and Assumption parishes. He can be contacted at 985-873-6495 or firstname.lastname@example.org. His articles and blogs are posted at bayoulog.com. You can “Friend” him on Facebook at facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001785563037 and follow his “Tweets” on Twitter at twitter.com/amatherne.