Small businesses have a helping hand - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Small businesses have a helping hand

December 7, 2006

Remerton - Debbie Baxter has dreamed of owning a business in Lowndes County and noticed a need for sweets.  "And we thought, Valdosta doesn't have one at all so we decided to come here and give Valdosta a fudge shop," Baxter says.

But she had no idea how to make her big dream a reality, until the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce put her on the right path.  "We just followed what they said and it just went very smoothly."

They enrolled her in the S.E.E.D center program to help get the business rolling.  "Its free of charge.  It's a place where you can go and pull demographic information, you can pull a list of names to market," says Stacy Bush, Chairman of Professional Consultants Committee for the Chamber.

Three months later, she opened Sweet Loves Fudge shop in Remerton.  But the ribbon being cut didn't mean the advising was too.  "We are supplying coaches and mentors to help new businesses stay on track and make sure they are meeting their target to dates," Bush adds.

She says business is good and wouldn't be the same without some the programs offered by the Chamber.  "Absolutely not, we'd still be floundering.  I feel certain we'd not know where to go or what to do," says Baxter.

All the services provided to the owners of Sweet Loves is offered to all small businesses thinking of moving to the county.