November 23, 2014

AuGres hosting small business seminar

By Tim Barnum|Staff writer
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AuGRES — Thinking about starting a business? The free small business seminar at the AuGres Community Library on June 10 may provide vital information in setting an entrepreneurial foundation.

“It (seminar) tells you what you, as a small business person, should be doing when looking at starting a business or expanding on a business,” said AuGres Chemical Bank Manager Marv Ittner, whose company, along with the city of AuGres and the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center at Delta College, puts on the seminars. “We’re trying to show them what the other side, such as myself, being a banker, is looking at, for instance, when you’re requesting a loan.

“We try to make sure they understand they need to have some professionals on their side,” Ittner added. “You may need to talk to an attorney. You may need to talk to an accountant.”

“It’s basically a starting place for anyone who’d like to start a small business or anyone who would like to be acquainted with community and business resources,” said AuGres City Manager Pat Killingbeck.

She added topics covered in the seminar include what it takes to start a business, where information and assistance can be found, creating a business plan, licenses and permits, funding, the myth of “free money” and resources to help set up a business.

Ittner also says the seminars can help prospective business do research before they commit to starting a business. He says research should include knowing what the business plan says, understanding who is the competition and what are they doing, what is the loan and business structure best for the new business, will there be ample cash flow, is the business affordable and able to achieve what should be the end goal, making a profit.

“What we’re trying to say is ‘You need to understand your business,’” he said. “It sounds like basics, but there’s a lot of people, especially at this time … they’re starting a business and they’re not looking at it as a business. They’re still looking at it like a hobby.”

According to Killingbeck, the seminars held in the past attracted people from all over the area.

“We’ve had a number of people from the AuGres area. We’ve had people from the Standish area, Sterling, Midland, Bay City,” Killingbeck said. “One reason there’s been so many outside people is that this is put on by the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center. That center is right on the Delta College campus.”

When it comes to the seminar directly impacting the economy of AuGres, Killingbeck says there are some businesses that the city would like to see.

“We think we need retail here. We’d like to encourage retail. … We’d like to have retail to meet the needs of our community so they don’t have to leave the community,” she said, adding that a Michigan Economic Development Corporation study done a couple of years ago showed that service industry businesses are already pretty well represented in the AuGres area. “We’d like industry, but you know, industry is pretty selective.”

The seminars, which are usually held three times a year, begin at 6 p.m. It is requested that interested people sign up to attend ahead of time. To sign up or for more information, call 989-876-8811.

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