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Program will help small businesses reach next level
NGCSU course has room for 25 owners
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Forsyth County News
There’s help coming to area small business owners, though it’s not in the form of a stimulus package.

North Georgia College & State University, in partnership with local chambers of commerce, is offering an education program for small business owners to grow their bottom line.

Ruben Boling, university faculty member, will be teaching the NxLeveL entrepreneurial training program at the Northpoint Executive Suites in Alpharetta.

The eight-week course, Boling said, will focus on marketing methods, operational improvements and financial management.

“It’s always a good time to help small businesses grow and be prepared for the future,” Boling said. “But with trying times the way they are now, it’s even more important for them to focus their effort and not get caught up in all the external forces that cause them to not do well.”

Boling will be the primary facilitator, but each class will offer experienced entrepreneurs and experts who can give an inside look into their success.

The course is open to up to 25 business owners, who will receive a certificate upon completion.

Alex Gubbins, director of business development for the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, said the program will help educate business owners who fall through the cracks of other programs.

“We have a lot of programs that assist people before they start their business, but we really want to assist those that have been in business and really want to take it to the next level,” she said.

“They need to evaluate their strengths and their weaknesses and sort of learn what they don’t know.”

This could help businesses that focus in areas other than finance, Gubbins said.

For example, a technology business may excel in providing help with computers and software, but may be not be as strong in sales and handling payroll.

This program, Gubbins said, will give them the tools to “help evaluate their business and increase profitability.”

Boling said the partnership between the Cumming-Forsyth County and Greater North Fulton chambers of commerce will allow the program to reach businesses in the region, instead of just one area.

The information will help businesses create a strategic plan of where they’re headed, he said.

“This will allow them to ... have something good to present to financial institutions to get funding and also to improve their operation so their bottom line gets better.”