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Group to host free seminar on starting business

By Staff | Apr 30, 2009

In recent months, hundreds of Southwest Floridians have found themselves without a job.
With the decline in the economy, many businesses have been forced to downsize operations or even close their doors, leaving many to wonder what to do next.
Because new jobs are nearly non-existent, another alternative for people would be to start their own businesses. However, this is not always as easy as it seems.
To help those seeking self-employment, representatives of the Pine Island Growers, along with experts from Florida Gulf Coast University, will host a free seminar on behalf of the staff of the Beacon of HOPE on Pine Island.
The seminar will take place from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at Pine Island Growers, 11660 Stringfellow Road, Bokeelia.
Members with the Small Business Development Center at FGCU will be on hand to point attendees in the right direction when considering starting a business.
Touted as a “must” for all startup businesses, the program will feature experts who will provide answers to the most frequently asked questions and address the facts about capital investments, grants and loans.
Topics to be covered will include the advantages and disadvantages of business ownership; business planning basics; market research; a review of legal entities including sole proprietorship, corporation and LLC; state and local licensing; and obtaining financing.
Also discussed will be the subject of how much money is needed to start a business.
This is the second seminar hosted by the Pine Island Growers, and is one that owner Betsy Haesemeyer feels has greatly benefitted those who attended last month.
“This is our second session of seminars. We had eight people show up for the first one and most have told me that it was very helpful. The participants felt as though things were put in a box for them, so to speak, and they knew what to do with their good ideas,” she said.
“They had all come to the seminar with good ideas, but when they shared their ideas with other people, they had become overwhelmed,” Haesemeyer said. “After attending the seminar, however, most feel they were provided a path to follow and helpfully simplify the process of taking their good ideas and getting started.”
The space for the free seminar will be limited to 15 participants. To reserve a seat, call the Beacon of HOPE at 283-5123.