“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.” –Proverbs 24:25
Have you ever thought about starting your own business? In Georgia, there are approximately one million small businesses, employing 44 percent of the state’s workforce.
Small business owners are good neighbors; they are usually the ones sponsoring youth sports teams, contributing to school programs, supporting the arts, and donating in-kind contributions to benefit nonprofits and other charitable organizations.
As a small business owner, I know firsthand the long hours, dedication, and personal sacrifice it requires to operate a small business successfully. The entrepreneurial journey can be confusing, and at times, frustrating.
Where do would-be entrepreneurs or seasoned small business owners go to find the right tools and resources to start a business or expand an existing one? How do they stay focused on their goals?
The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is ready to help. With 17 offices strategically located across the state, the SBDC provides a wide range of consulting services and educational training for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
During the past five years, SBDC clients created 1,741 new businesses and 13,126 new jobs. SBDC clients also obtained $885 million in start-up and expansion capital and generated $9.9 billion in sales.
In this issue, we asked Walt Moore, Alyssa Foskey, and Cindy Corgan, with the SBDC at Valdosta State University, to answer a few questions on the minds of small business owners.
What are the challenges of starting a small business? How do you write a business plan? What are the obstacles small business owners face? Find out the answers to these questions, and more, in the article “In Georgia, It’s Great to Be Small.” (Page 18)
Thanks to members of the Whigham Volunteer Community Council for inviting me to be a part of the second annual Grady Grown event. A southern feast that featured local ingredients harvested and produced in Grady County, then prepared and served by culinary arts students from Cairo High School.
A “grow your own” approach, the Technical College System of Georgia is promoting apprenticeship programs to fill the state’s workforce gap. In this issue, read how Wiregrass Tech is using apprenticeship programs to connect companies with skilled employees and provide solutions to critical employment shortages.
Congratulations to Southwell Medical (formerly Cook Medical Center) on the opening of its replacement facility located along Interstate 75 in Adel. While many small hospitals are closing around the state and country, the Southwell leadership team saw an opportunity to transform rural healthcare.
Earlier this year, we accepted nominations for individuals to be part of Team South Georgia 2019. We received submissions from across the region and selected 11 community champions for their innovative spirit and ability to obtain positive results.
As we congratulate this year’s team members, we encourage our readers to consider the community champions they will nominate in 2020. It is our goal to have representation from across South Georgia. We will begin accepting nominations in March 2020.
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