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Commerce announces new small business resources in Alabama

The Alabama Department of Commerce’s Office of Small Business Advocacy and the Alabama Small Business Development Center Network (ASBDC) announced the publication of “Alabama’s Answers: Starting Your Business in Alabama,” a comprehensive primer.

The department describes the 16th edition of the partnership publication as an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs, with a focus on the prerequisite elements and compliance aspects for successfully starting and maintaining a business venture in Alabama.

This new edition of “Alabama’s Answers” – which has been revised and updated – will guide potential small business owners through all the key elements of starting a business.

The 20 chapters address a range of issues, including financial feasibility, creating a business plan, choosing a legal structure, taxes and financing and other essential topics. “Alabama’s Answers” references and directs the reader to most of the necessary city, state and federal forms.

“Alabama’s small businesses and entrepreneurs need the correct information and resources to start and grow their businesses,” said Eddie Postell, program manager of the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Office of Small Business Advocacy.

“’Alabama’s Answers’ helps the would-be entrepreneur transition their business ideas into a successful business.”

Eddie Postell, manager of the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Office of Small Business Advocacy, with Bill Cummins, executive state director of the Alabama Small Business Development Center Network at the University of Alabama. (contributed)

Helping entrepreneurs

The Office of Small Business Advocacy fosters growth of businesses by providing assistance in a variety of ways.

First and foremost, the office enlists the cooperation and assistance of public and private agencies, businesses and organizations by disseminating information about programs and services, identifying educational outreach and providing counseling to startup and existing small businesses.

The Office of Small Business Advocacy works closely with the Alabama SBDC Network and its Small Business Development Centers at member university partners across the state.

In addition, the office coordinates its efforts with an array of expert resource partners, including the Alabama Department of Transportation, the Department of Revenue’s Office of Taxpayer Advocacy, the Alabama SBA District Office, Women’s Business Centers, chambers of commerce, business incubators and economic developers.

The Alabama SBDC Network for more than 40 years has provided no-cost assistance to Alabamians looking to start or grow their businesses.

Annually, the ASBDC delivers its programs and services to all 67 counties in Alabama. Through its network of 10 service centers and its host institution – the University of Alabama – the Alabama SBDC helps the small business community through its no-cost one-on-one advising and educational programming.

Over the past five years, the SBDC has guided entrepreneurs to start 1,115 new businesses, helped small businesses owners create 4,519 new jobs and facilitated more than $520 million in growth capital, all while maintaining a 96% “would recommend” rating from its clients, Postell said.

Surveys show that Alabama SBDC clients have higher revenue growth and stronger job creation than the average small business – and they’re more likely to survive economic downturns.

(Courtesy of Made in Alabama)

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