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Small business will get a big opportunity with new partnership

Small business in Guilderland will reap the rewards of a partnership between the University at Albany's Small Business Development Center and the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce this October, according to the organizations.

John Skrobela, economic adviser for the Small Business Development Center, said the duo will co-sponsor three consecutive Saturday seminars as a follow up to last year's successful program. The organization is considering counseling businesses directly on-site at the GCC, but no date has been set.

Skrobela said the meetings would be by appointment only and no launch date is final.

Kathy Burbank, director of the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce, said last year's seminars were well attended, and she is hopeful for a similar turnout this year.

There's a lot of people out there looking to start a business, Burbank said of the target audience.

She said considering the seminars were held on Saturday mornings, 22 new and small business owners coming out was a huge success.

Burbank said statistics show that a number of recently unemployed residents, usually close to 5 percent nationwide, will attempt to open a new business, and it would be beneficial to them, and the town, to provide them with the necessary tools to do so efficiently.

Burbank said that in some years, the seminars might have helped increase profits from good to great, but right now, it's the difference between going out of business and staying afloat for some.

She said cash flow, refinancing and finding low interest loans are some of the prime strategies people can learn at the seminars.

Burbank touted Skrobela's success.

"He does it at other chambers and it's been really successful," she said.

"Overall it's a great partnership we have not only with the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce, but with other chambers as well," Skrobela said.

Burbank also said the center's breadth of statistics and information available is an asset to the business community and will be valuable going forward.

The first seminar is regarding legal issues directly affecting small businesses, the second is on financing and the last is marketing. They will take place on Oct. 17, 24 and 31.

The Small Business Development Center is usually associated with a state university or community college and has 24 locations throughout the state, Skrobela said.

"There are resources available to small business and local entrepreneurs for little or no cost," he said. "That's more important now than ever."

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