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Mon, Sept. 23

SBDC, SCORE help entrepreneurs succeed

PRESCOTT VALLEY - Rita Devine needed a little help bringing her inventions to life.

Devine has patents for a magnetic wristband and a magnetic cover for ladder tops.

She knew that free business counseling services were key to getting her products to the market.

Devine found the counselors at SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) and Yavapai College's Small Business Development Center gave her that help.

Devine said the counselors reviewed her business plan and cash flow statement.

"That was a major piece of advice because it really helped me to feel more confident about my financials and about making my first-year goals," she said.

Bruce Hershman, marketing chairman for Northern Arizona SCORE office, said many people are un-

clear about the services they offer.

Hershman said that in 2006, SCORE counselors met with more than 600 clients with dreams of going into business or looking for some help with an existing operation.

"We find people really don't understand who we are or what we do," he said. "I think we're a well-kept secret and that's a shame that more people don't know what we do."

Hershman and the other counselors help owners with various aspects of running a business with free and confidential advice.

"The requests for counseling take on so many different forms, it would be hard to categorize them," he said.

Hershman and the other counselors help entrepreneurs create a business plan and give them tools to get money from lending institutions.

The SBDC counselors offer similar assistance to business owners.

Director Rick Marcum said the resource center opened in 1991, offering training for owners to succeed and the knowledge to handle marketing and money problems.

Marcum said he also works with local chambers of commerce and talks to groups to further promote the SBDC.

SBDC and SCORE counselors also frequently conduct seminars in the community.

For more information, visit www.scorenaz.org or www.yc.edu/sbdc.

Call SCORE at 778-7438 or the SBDC at 776-2008.

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