If you are thinking about starting a small business, or have recently done so, don't go it alone.
The Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Small Business Development Academy starting on Tuesday, Sept. 29. The Academy will run from 6 to 8:30 p.m. each Tuesday through Nov. 17. All sessions will be at the Norwalk Inn & Conference Center.
"This has been a very popular program," Edward Musante Jr., president and CEO of the Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce, said. "First of all, it's free. But it's also popular because there are a lot of people starting their own businesses. This program provides them with a good overall look at what they'll need to know."
Each week will feature a different topic related to starting a business. The topics include: Having a Plan; Getting the Money; Planning for a Profit; Employing Technology; Spreading the Word; and Keeping Customers. Experts in the field speak each week.
The kickoff event will include a talk by guest speaker by David Lewis. He is the founder, president and CEO of Norwalk-based human relations business OperationsInc.
He is also the president and CEO of the job board network AllCountyJobs.com. He built his business from a few employees in Stamford to one of the largest HR outsourcing and consulting firms in the state. OperationsInc moved to Norwalk in 2012.
The Academy concludes on Nov. 17 with a graduation reception. Participants will receive a certificate.
The program is sponsored by First Niagara and leadership from the bank will be participating in several of the sessions, sharing their knowledge of the small business market.
“First Niagara recognizes the benefit a program like this can have on someone who is just starting out in the small business world,” said Robert Cerminaro, SVP and Tristate Region Market Executive for First Niagara Bank. “We are proud to sponsor this series for the third year, and hope that by helping owners understand the fundamentals of starting and maintaining a small business, we can contribute to the strength and vitality of our local economies.”
Musante added: "Many people, for whatever reason, find themselves in the position that they have time to develop their own business, which may have been a dream of theirs for a long time."
For more information or to register, visit www.norwalkchamberofcommerce.com or call (203) 866-2521.