13 entrepreneurs graduate from small business class in Orleans
ALBION – Another class of entrepreneurs has graduated from a 10-week small business training program, bringing the total graduates to 435 since the program started in 1999.
A 10-week class gives a new group of entrepreneurs tips in taxes, marketing, legal issues, handling stress, computers and bookkeeping – all factors that are key to running successful businesses. They also must complete a business plan.
The graduates are now eligible to seek low-interest financing for up to $30,000 from the Orleans Economic Development Agency. The EDA also has additional assistance to help the new business owners. The EDA is offering downtown rental subsidies for entrepreneurs to move into the downtown business districts in Albion, Holley, Lyndonville and Medina.
Businesses can seek $3 per square foot annually if they move into the downtown. The EDA is capping the subsidies at $4,500 a year, the maximum for a 1,500 square foot space.
The EDA also has $100,000 in grants to share with small businesses (5 or fewer employees) that need working capital, equipment purchases or inventory. The grants are capped at $15,000 per recipient.
The subsidies and small business grants has created added interest from entrepreneurs to look at the downtown business districts, said Diana Blanchard, director of the Microenterprise Assistance Program. She said 18 people have already applied for the 10-week class in the fall.
The spring 2016 graduates include: Jody Sugar (dog grooming business); Christine Falbo (hearth/fireplace business); Jeff Cole (JC’s Trees and Berries); Tara Thom (Town and Country Quilter); Sarah Nolan (party supply store in Medina); Candi Schutrum (Happy Guru Loves Me/Lotions); Karin Menz (Snow Trackers/Snowmobile Track Stabilizer online business); Brian Allis (grower of hops); John Gonzalez (flipping homes); Judy Richardson (Italian deli/bakery in Albion); Justin Weese (small engine repair or deli); Amanda Smith (bakery/crafts/deli in Barre); and Samantha Marchincin (social media for musicians).