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TSBDC at Vol State raising funds to help more small business owners

Owning a small business is a dream for many people. Making that dream a successful reality requires hard work and good advice. The Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at Vol State has provided that advice for 11 businesses already in 2008. The Center is funded through donations and grants, and the fundraising process for 2008 is underway. TSBDC Director Charles Alexander says small business help is important for the owner, but also for the entire community.

"We helped the Portland Pallet Company get a $1.7 million Small Business Administration loan," said Alexander. "That allowed Charles and Lynne Fox to purchase the business and that local ownership will help retain 30 jobs in Sumner County." The Foxes were given the Rising Star award by the TSBDC for their work. "They really stand out for what they've been able to achieve and even more importantly what they've done for the community."

The TSBDC helps people with free classes in everything from writing a business plan to marketing. The Center also provides low cost consulting to develop individualized plans. Just this year there has been more than $3 million dollars in capital formation from the Center.

"With an idea and the help of the Small Business Development Center at Volunteer State Community College, new businesses are born," said Denise Geminden, Director of Economic Development for the City of Portland. "We are so grateful that the free counseling, training, and referrals for small businesses are so close at hand."

"In only one short year, the Small Business Development Center at Vol State has benefited numerous small businesses in Hendersonville," said Don Long, Director of Economic Development for the City of Hendersonville. "The Center has clearly demonstrated a strong commitment to the mission of helping small businesses succeed. It plays a critical role in providing guidance and expertise to the small business community, both existing and start-up businesses."

The TSBDC at Vol State is a collaborative project. The Campaign Task Force, which brought the center to the area, is made up of representatives from Vol State, the United Chambers of Sumner County, local banks, and economic development entities. They are working with local businesses and municipalities to continue the project and apply for more Federal Grant money through the Small Business Administration.

For more information about the fundraising campaign contact Hilary Marabeti at (615) 230 - 3355 or email For TSBDC class information contact Charles Alexander at