JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center is helping entrepreneurs to become their own boss.
Blytheville native Dedric Davis is one of those entrepreneurs working to get his homemade pickling business off the ground.
“Starting a small business is hard,” Davis said.
Thanks to a grant from Mississippi County Economic Development, Davis recently secured a building to establish his wholesale operation.
Through networking, he was pointed toward the ASBTDC where he is getting hands-on help to prepare a business plan for free.
“You said the correct word free,” Davis said. “I've come over, they've been very receptive, very nice and they are very innovative at how they approach that help that they try to give you.”
The center is located in the Delta Center on the Arkansas State University campus and serves 16 counties. Laura Miller has been at the ASBTDC for 19 years working with small business owners and entrepreneurs through free seminars, market research and one-on-one consulting.
Their services are free and confidential.
"We’d say we’re one of the best-kept secret in Arkansas,” Miller said.
This year, in particular, they are seeing a boom in people wanting to start a new business.
“Typically, we run 65% existing business, 35% startup. This year, we’re running at least 65-70% of people interested in starting a business versus expanding their existing business. So there’s a lot of interest out there," said Miller.
Many of their clients come back either for an annual financial check-up or are looking to expand.
“It’s great I’m not a risk-taker. So I can live vicariously in their success,” Miller said.
If you have ever considered opening up your own business, the center is hosting a free seminar focused on starting a small business on Thursday, Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Registration is required.
Click here for more information about the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center and the services it provides.