Trinity Valley Community College’s Small Business Development Center is open for business, offering free research and consulting services to help business owners. Miranda Perry of Athens, a former teacher and business owner, offers consulting services each Wednesday at Palestine’s Economic Development Center.
The service is not new in town, nor unique to the region. As a new SBDC consultant, however, Perry wants more people to know the service is available. The SBDC and other economic development centers like it infused more than $9 million into the region’s economy in the last fiscal year into sectors in manufacturing, services, retail, and event venues.
“We love helping small businesses get started and helping established businesses experience new levels of growth,” Perry said.
The TVCC-SBDC assisted Terry Bell of Gun Barrel City in Henderson County in receiving a $50,000 grant for veterans through his town's economic development center. Bell secured a Golden Chick franchise and projects to open the new restaurant in December.
Though not all entrepreneurs qualify for free money provided by grants, consulting services can still link businesses to resources. Capital infusion can consist of loans from the Small Business Administration, a federal program, or commercial banks, lines of credit, grants, or equity capital in the form of investment.
The East Texas economy is friendly to new businesses, Perry said, due to the state’s favorable business climate, low finance rates, and its stable workforce. Despite the recent buzz about an economic downturn, the economy is only slowing, Perry said.
According to the online newsletter, Business and Economic Insights, by Visa, US economic growth is projected to stabilize in the fourth quarter, partly due to consumer spending during the holidays.
The local SBDC service is funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, TVCC, and North Texas SBDC, and is available to all kinds of business operators and owners in the region, which includes Anderson, Henderson, Kaufman, Rains and Van Zandt counties.
Perry conducts market research and coaches clients in developing a business plan and finding resources for financing. Coaching on management techniques, accounting systems, and financial projections are also available.
For information, call 903-675-7403 or for more information, visit the TVCC-SBDC website at www.tvccsbdc.org