At the Columbia Economic Development Corporation, we are in the business of helping small business. Our MicroBusiness Program helps the small business owner in three ways:
SBA Microloans range from $2,000 to $50,000. They have a maximum repayment term of six years. Funds may be used for working capital and/or the purchase of equipment, inventory, or supplies. Any for-profit business or prospective business in Columbia or Greene County with under $3.5 million in annual sales and fewer than 500 employees is eligible. There are specific U.S. Small Business Administration standards that are applied to each applicant and a business plan is required for start-up businesses. CEDC staff can assist applicants in determining whether a Microloan is right for them.
MicroBusiness Seminar Series
This annual 7-week series covers topics ranging from bookkeeping basics to marketing strategies to writing a business plan. Any Columbia County resident who owns a business employing five people or less, including the owner, or who is thinking about starting a business, is eligible to participate. The $150 course fee is refunded in the form of a one-year membership in the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, or a gift card to Staples. Scholarships are available. Space is limited. Applications are available by calling CEDC at 518 828.4718.
One-On-One Technical Assistance
CEDC works with business consultants who have expertise in accounting, marketing, computer systems, employee management and other areas of concern to small business owners. The consultants act as mentors to the entrepreneur, providing individualized assistance in one or more of these areas. This technical assistance is available to all MicroBusiness graduates at no charge.
* Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.