Belpre chamber readies workshop

BELPRE – In an effort to aid locally owned business owners and area residents hoping to start their own venture, the Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce will hold a workshop this month.

“We encourage all kinds of businesses – from the well-established, to new and in need of direction, to local residents who have an idea for a business and want some help,” said Susie Casto with the chamber’s economic development committee.

The free Basics of a Successful Start (BOSS) business start-up workshop will be overseen by chamber officials and Pam Lankford with the Ohio Small Business Development Center in Marietta. The workshop is a partnership between the chamber and the business development center, Casto said.

“We are really excited and pleased to be working with the center and Pam to provide help to our business community,” she said.

The workshop is designed to provide potential business owners with information on how to get their business started, said Karen Waller, executive director of the chamber.

“I think there are people out there who have ideas and don’t know how to make them happen,” Waller said. “This workshop is to help them make their ideas reality.”

The partnership between the chamber and business development center includes two parts: the BOSS classes and individual consultations for participants to receive one-on-one help.

“To have someone to talk to and get information on how to start a business makes all the difference,” Waller said. “We really want this program to help business owners get answers to their questions.”

The classes will be held noon to 2 p.m. or 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the chamber office, 713 Park Drive, Belpre, and 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Washington State Community College Infinite Learning Center/Library building, 710 Colegate Drive, Marietta.

During the workshop, a business analyst will explain the types of ownership, licensing and tax requirements as well as how to develop a business plan, financing and how to market the product.

Participants in the classes will learn how to define their target market and identify the competition and benefit by questions raised by others in the group.

Handouts will include a checklist detailing actions and information essential to a successful start as well as a loan checklist to assist the entrepreneur in preparing and presenting essential information to successfully apply for a business loan.

Although there is no charge for the workshop, registration is required and will be accepted until 2 p.m. the day before the event. To register, call (740) 373-5150 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or email or