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Big help for small businesses
Program offers counseling, mentoring
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Forsyth County News
Given the state of the economy, it’s not an easy time for small businesses. But in Forsyth County, help is on the way.

SCORE, a nonprofit resource partner of the Small Business Administration, is offering free counseling to Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce businesses.

Steve Bloom, Forsyth office team leader, said in a statement that small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs should take advantage of the opportunity to share goals, problems and opportunities with an experienced group of executives and successful business owners at no cost, especially “during these challenging times.”

The Atlanta chapter of SCORE is part of a national organization with more than 11,500 volunteers and 389 chapters.
Volunteers are small business experts, either working or retired, who provide advice on marketing, management, franchising, operations, strategic planning, human resources and other key topics for small businesses.

Counseling is offered at the chamber’s Small Business Services Center in south Forsyth.

Alexandra Gubbins, director of the center, said one of the needs for small businesses was “more access to coaching and mentoring.”

“The SBSC has an Accelerator Initiative that addresses the established entrepreneur’s needs, but not the mentoring and coaching needs of those at the beginning of the entrepreneurial process,” she said.

“That is where our partnership with SCORE will be invaluable. We now address the full scope of those wanting to start a business or grow one in Forsyth County.”

To kick off the new counseling service, the chamber is holding a town hall meeting for entrepreneurs and small business owners Wednesday.

The meeting will let small businesses know what services and resources the chamber can provide, including mentoring programs and the business accelerator initiative, which offers step-by-step assistance and discounted office space to help get businesses on the path to success.