The Small Business Services Center, which is co-located with the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, says that last year was a busy year for them as they provided assistance to over 400 current and prospective local merchants. One new business owner received relocation assistance which involved the Center providing information about suitable business locations and referrals to local professionals who could help make the transition from her current out of area location to Forsyth County easier.
In addition to business relocation services, the center provides a free on-line “small business tool kit” which supplies prospective business owners with step-by-step instructions for what they need to do to start up a new business. The Center recently provided start-up assistance to five new businesses which initiated in the planning stages and ran through implementation and business opening.
The center’s director, Jason Mock, stated in a Forsyth News article that last year seemed to be a big year for start-ups, as many workers found themselves laid off or with less work hours than in previous years, but that, in addition, many existing businesses were considering moving into the Cumming-Forsyth County because of the low taxes and high per capita income the area offers.
One goal for the Center is to provide more educational opportunities for existing merchants throughout the year. In addition, they hope to see an expansion of the existing “lunch and learn” seminar program which is held in partnership with area universities and technical colleges.
Small businesses account for the largest percentage of Cumming-Forsyth County businesses: 4,645 of Forsyth County businesses employee 1 to 10 employees and 95% of local businesses have between 1 and 25 employees.
With those figures in mind, Mock still feels that there is plenty of opportunity for small business owners and those thinking about starting a new business in the area. In fact, the Center is hoping for an increase of 33% in the local small business population in the coming year.
I hope we see it!
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