Business advice free from DCCC’s business center

Chamber, DCCC launch Third Thursday
Jan. 03, 2014 @ 10:40 AM

Third Thursday — a partnership between the Thomasville Area Chamber of Commerce and Davidson County Community College’s Small Business Center — will offer on-the-spot advice for small business development.

Representatives of the Small Business Center will be available at the Chamber office, 941 Randolph St., for free business counseling from 9 to 11 a.m.

“When talking with business owners, they expressed a desire to see more things for small businesses,” said Martha Larson of DCCC’s Small Business Center. “I think this will bring about awareness for the Small Business Center services and give individuals access to consultation for their business needs.”

The first session kicks off Jan. 16.

“This is a no-appointment-needed service,” said Doug Croft, president of the Chamber of Commerce.  “We often schedule appointments and refer start-up businesses to the Small Business Center at their campus. But this will be a specific designated time when you know that support and advice will be available.”

The most common topics for assistance include marketing, competitive research, financial assessment and strategic planning, according to Larson. 

“These are all very important ingredients for any business, whether start-up or those with a long history,” Larson said. “Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for businesses to get free assistance. Appointments are available, but this Third Thursday project brings the team to one place at a designated time that entrepreneurs know our team will be available.” 

The Jan. 16 kickoff will include a tax seminar by accountant Hope Surratt. 

“Surratt brings a wealth of knowledge and specializes in accounting for small businesses,” said Larson.  “Some of our Third Thursday sessions will have other guest counselors, including Ron Bruffery, a retiree with background in business finance and project management.”

The Chamber is enhancing its efforts on small business development and entrepreneurialism, added Croft.

One of the points of emphasis as outlined in the 2020 Envision process was to put together an advisory group to provide mentoring and technical support to small business. The Chamber also encourages investor groups to assist emerging small businesses in Thomasville with much-needed capital.

Most recently, the Chamber promoted Small Business Saturday and its annual Buy Local campaign. In addition, it offers a My Chamber App to promote local shopping.

“We’ll always continue to be interested in big new businesses moving to and creating jobs in Thomasville,” said Croft.  “But smaller businesses invest in the community every day.  We had 50 investments in 2013. Thomasville, N.C.’s future will rely on exciting new businesses that are grown organically.  It’s part of the American dream in the All-America City.”

For more information, call Larson at 224-4557.