Small Business Week is April 23 – 27

Small Business Week is April 23 – 27

by Chamber Chairman Jimmy Adams, Adams Transfer & Storage Co., Inc.

The Georgia Small Business Development Center along with the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce will be taking part in the celebration of Small Business Week April 23 – 27.

For more than 40 years, the U.S. Small Business Administration has recognized outstanding small business owners for their contributions to the nation¹s economy and for their personal achievements during small business week. Since 1963, every President has declared National Small Business Week to formally recognize the important role of America¹s small business community.

The Georgia Small Business Development Center Network (SBDC) was created 30 years ago to help address the high failure rate of new businesses in the state and has grown from a small pilot program housed “almost in a hallway” in the UGA College of Business Administration to a statewide network with 17 centers.

During 2006 alone, the Georgia SBDC Network consulted with more than 5,000 entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, provided training to over 11,000 people, and conducted marketing and economic development studies for numerous Georgia communities and government entities.

The demand continues to increase as the needs and interests of small business in Georgia expand and intensify. Governor Sonny Perdue¹s strong emphasis on promoting entrepreneurship, as well as the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s efforts to heighten the role of business creation in Georgia’s economy fuel demand for assistance.

Since 1987, the Gainesville Area Office of the Georgia Small Business Development Center Network has been helping small businesses in Hall County. In addition, the Gainesville SBDC also furnishes assistance to 10 other counties in Northeast Georgia.

The SBDC offers free management assistance to those currently in business or those planning on starting a business. All discussions with clients are confidential and SBDC counselors will work with clients for as long as needed. Along with counseling, the SBDC also teaches seminars and is an ongoing partner with the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce in assisting small businesses.

The SBDC participates in planning Chamber Small Business Seminars which are held monthly September through May and focus on topics ranging from financing and marketing to insurance and retirement plans. The majority of Chamber members are small businesses, and we all realize their importance to our local economy. The Chamber honors a Small Business of the Month at its monthly Board of Directors meetings and recognizes Small Businesses of the Year annually at the Annual Meeting & Gala (this year on May 17 at Brenau University with nominations accepted through April 16.)

Upcoming UGA Small Business Development Center Continuing Education Classes are How to Write a Business Plan & Financing Your Business Venture on April 18 from 6:00-9:30 p.m. Cost: $40; and How to Start Your Own Business on May 9 from 6:00-9:30 p.m. All classes are held at the Gainesville SBDC office at 604 Washington Street in Gainesville. The next Chamber Small Business Seminar is Tuesday, April 17 at 8:00 a.m. with guest speakers Mark Bell, The Bell Company and Fred Kelly, CPA. Registration for SBDC and Chamber seminars can be made online.

The SBDC in Gainesville will celebrate their 30th Anniversary with an Open House on Tuesday, April 24, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the center¹s office. Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, state and local leaders will honor 15 area business owners who have experienced significant growth as a result of assistance from the Gainesville SBDC staff including Regional and Area Director Ron Simmons, Business Consultant J.C. Smith and Program Coordinator DeDe Gossage.

Georgia SBDC Network, 604 Washington Street, Suite B-2, Gainesville GA 30501. 770-531-5681.