Small Business Resource Fair set for Monday

PICKENS — The Pickens Revitalization Association (PRA) has scheduled its 2014 Pickens Small Business Resource Fair for next Monday, Feb. 24.

The fair comes about as part of the entrepreneur-friendly toolkit process Pickens was chosen for in late 2013. The Appalachian Council of Governments received a federal grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to build an online “entrepreneur-friendly toolkit,” and Pickens was chosen as a pilot community for the project.

The Small Business Resource Fair will run from noon to 1:30 p.m. at 113 West Main Street in Pickens. The fair will include presenters on the following topics as they relate to small business start-up and operation: finance, planning, real estate, legal and risk management, marketing and more. All of the presenters will be available after the event to answer questions and distribute contact information. There will also be several handouts made available to attendees on small business topics.

“PRA is committed to improving the business climate in Pickens in every way we can, and we need all the help we can get from our local businesses and those knowledgeable in the business environment,” PRA executive director Allison Fowler said. “Holding a Small Business Resource Fair allows us to pull all those knowledgeable people together in one place to make it more convenient and accessible for our business owners and entrepreneurs.”

“Businesses should know we are here to ensure they have assistance and feel welcomed, rather than overwhelmed by the legalities of business ownership,” PRA president Patrick Lark said.

In addition to hearing from presenters, attendees will be able to register for a free façade rendering, a free business sign design, a free business logo design and a free seat in the Small Business Development Center and Tri-County Technical College’s entrepreneur course, NxLeveL, set to begin on March 4. NxLeveL for entrepreneurs, also known as the “existing business course,” is a multi-session course that gives entrepreneurs the professional knowledge and management skills they need to grow an existing business. Participants will learn to identify feasible opportunities for profitable and sustainable growth and move forward through planning based on proven market research, financial management and project management techniques.

“The city’s goal is to be as entrepreneur-friendly as possible, and the Pickens Small Business Resource Fair represents a very important step,” said David Shellhorse, economic development services manager for the Appalachian Council of Governments.  “Area business support professionals and successful small business owners will share both wisdom and practical advice with aspiring entrepreneurs.  What an outstanding opportunity.”