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MAP class for small businesses to return in fall

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 July 2020 at 9:20 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers – Diane Blanchard, director of the Microenterprise Assistance Program, is pictured in downtown Albion. She leads a program that has had 518 graduates.

ALBION – A class that gives pointers to entrepreneurs and helps them develop their business plans will be back this fall after the spring class was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Orleans Economic Development Agency has been offering the program since 1999, with classes in the spring and fall.

The EDA is expecting to hold the weekly class sessions at the Arnold Gregory Office Complex on South Main Street, and could always hold sessions through the Zoom video conferencing or a Google meet, said Diane Blanchard, manager of the program.

“We’re moving forward,” she said during Friday’s Orleans EDA board meeting. “We’re ready.”

Blanchard said a dozen people are already committed to the class. Other people interested in MAP can reach Blanchard at (585) 589-7060 (ext. 1) or by email, dblanchard@orleansdevelopment.org.

The 10-week class includes insights on taxes, marketing, legal issues, computer skills and overcoming pitfalls in launching a business. A main goal is developing a business plan.

Sam Campanella, an advisor with the Small Business Development Center, has been with the class for many years. He has retired from the SBDC.

Dorothy Daniels of Albion is taking Campanella’s place as a class advisor and instructor. the class. Daniels graduated from MAP in 2019. She started On Point Bookkeeper on West Avenue in Albion. She also works for the SBDC.

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