Learning options for small-business owners

Monday, January 14, 2013

Small-business lending is up in Missouri and Illinois, according to a report released last week by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, the Small Business Lending Fund provides capital to small community banks and community development loan funds. Comparing the quarter that ended Sept. 30 to the previous quarter, participating Missouri banks increased lending to small businesses by $122 million, and Illinois banks by $210 million. There was a nationwide quarterly increase of $7.4 billion through the fund.

Borrowers who want to do all they can to be successful and pay back loans have plenty of opportunities to become business savvy through educational opportunities in the area. Just this week, I received a number of announcements.

* If you'd like to attend a future "How to Buy a Business" seminar by Jennifer Hendrickson, president of Hendrickson Business Advisors and owner of the local Murphy Business franchise, contact Richard Proffer, small business development specialist at the University of Missouri Extension Cape Girardeau County Small Business Technology and Development Center in Jackson, at 243-2581. The cost of the evening seminar is $40. It will be scheduled pending sufficient interest.

* The Tristate Marketing Professionals Association's January meeting will feature a multimedia presentation by Dr. Jack Zibluk, who will provide simple guidelines on how to use storytelling techniques to make compelling presentations in education, advertising, marketing and communication. Zibluk is Southeast Missouri State University's chair and professor of mass media. The meeting is at noon Jan. 22 at Port Cape Girardeau restaurant in downtown Cape Girardeau. The cost is $12 for Tristate members and $15 for nonmembers.

* Free and low-cost continuing education classes, including free computer classes, are being offered by Mineral Area Community College at its Fredricktown, Mo., Center campus. The classes are less formal, test-free and usually of a shorter duration than regular college courses. Contact Pam Watkins, director of continuing education at MAC, at 518-2342, by email at ContinuingEd@MineralArea.edu or visit www.MineralArea.edu/CE.

* A 10-week course called "Operation JumpStart: First Step" will be offered Feb. 19 to April 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Shawnee Community College in Ullin, Ill. The course teaches participants essential small business planning and preparation skills with practical, hands-on training. There is $25 enrollment fee that includes all materials. Contact Gabriele Farner at 618-634-3254 or gabrielef@shawneecc.edu.

* The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is taking applications for Leadership Missouri, which aims to "identify current and emerging leaders throughout the state, enhance their leadership skills and deepen their knowledge of the state's opportunities and challenges." In April, participants will begin a series of seven monthly, two-day sessions at various locations throughout the state, including Cape Girardeau and Sikeston, Mo. The fee is $1,800 for Missouri Chamber members and $2,000 for nonmembers. The application deadline is Feb. 15. For more information, visit www.mochamber.com or call 634-3511.

* Ward Hyundai in Cape Girardeau was acquired by Michael W. Absher and Cheryl Absher of Marion, Ill. as of Jan 1. The Abshers also own and operate Marion Ford Hyundai and Bluegrass Honda/BMW in Paducah, Ken. and are part-owners of Marion Chevrolet Buick GMC, Mercedes-Benz of Marion and Madisonville Ford Nissan in Madisonville, Ky. The business name has been changed to Hyundai of Cape Girardeau.

* CPU Inc. of Cape Girardeau, a computer consulting and services firm that also provides payroll and tax service processing, announced earlier this month that they have selected Goliath Technologies of Philadelphia to monitor and manage their internal, hosted and remote customer environments.



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