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Program to help business owners grow

Posted: April 10, 2012 - 5:02pm

Twitter @JennaNMartin

Business owners wanting to sign up for a five-week program focused on growing their companies must act fast.

Created by the Georgia Small Business Development Center, the GrowSmart program begins April 17 and runs for five consecutive Tuesdays through May 15 at the Columbia County Library. Each class will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The weekly class sessions will address planning for growth, marketing, leadership and management, financial analysis and operations and plan implementation.

“It’s a chance not only to have business coaching from instructors, but they also get peer-to-peer advice,” said Troy Post, executive director of the Columbia County Development Authority, a sponsor of the program. “In the end, there are a lot of similarities of how a business operates.”

The program can accommodate 25 people, and nine spots remain open, said University of Georgia Small Business Development Center Director Susan Caldwell, who has partnered with the county’s development authority to offer the courses.

Participants will learn strategies for growth and learn to work “on” their businesses, not just “in” it.

The hands-on program will include presentations from expert speakers on each topic.

Only one business from each industry sector will be allowed into the program.

“They don’t have to worry about having a competitor in the room that would be able to also listen to those ideas,” Post said.

The program, including breakfast and lunch, costs $395 and $295 for Columbia County Chamber of Commerce members.

To apply or for information, visit www.georgiasbdc.org or call Caldwell at (706) 721-4545. Completed applications can be faxed to (706) 721-4554.

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