Some businesses can benefit from recession - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Some businesses can benefit from recession

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By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –The recession hasn't hurt Valdosta as badly as many Georgia cities, but unemployment there is still up.

A Valdosta State University professor expects that to change slowly this year.

She says there will continue to be weak areas of the economy, but the private sector is picking up.

Some businesses can actually benefit from the recession according to a VSU professor. Enrollment is up at VSU and Valdosta Technical College. Many of the students at VSU are from out of town. That means potential new customers for businesses.

"If you have a business that can tap into that student population it's going to help you position yourself for that recovery," said VSU Associate Professor of Economics Cindy Tori.

While some people are out of jobs and the unemployment rate is more than eight percent in the Valdosta area, there is an upside.

The economic forecast for our area shows that now is a good time for businesses to hire. Dr. Tori says there are a large of number of workers available with a wide range of skills.

Businesses like Azalea Health Innovations hire students.

"We started out with four and now we have 13 full-time and part-time," said Azalea Health Innovations Chief Financial Officer Doug Swords. "We've got several VSU students, some VSU graduates so we've got a lot of talent here."

Azalea Health Innovations won the Guardian Bank Business Plan competition in 2008 which included $15,000 in start-up capital and thousands of dollars in in-kind services donated by Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce members. He says he learned a lot through the planning process.

"We had to plan out five years of financial projection," said Swords. "It really helped us out a lot."

To enter the business plan competition, a business must be located in Valdosta or Lowndes County and have the potential to hire VSU or Val Tech students.

Dr. Tori also says now is the time for businesses to advertise. For more information on the business plan competition, click here.