Beth Gantz, Delilaah Capeles, Kristin Prunty, and Peter Jensen recently helped launch the Ohio Small Business Development Center website. (Martin McConnell — Morning Journal)
Lorain County Community College's Small Business Development Center in Illyria has been a major resource for entrepreneurs in the county for more than a decade.
Director Beth Ganz said the center launched its digital expansion in mid-November, so these small business owners now have access to the center at their fingertips.
Ganz said the website loraincountysmallbusiness.com offers a variety of services to help small business owners start, connect and grow their businesses.
“I am very excited to announce that we launched our new website last week,” she said. “This is a website that brings together all of our resources to help start small businesses in Lorain County and beyond.”
Ganz explained that the purpose of the website is to provide small business owners with a complete archive of conferences, workshops, and other resources. Throughout his 10 years at the university, the center has been a major resource for entrepreneurs looking to take the next step.
“Over the past decade, LCCC's SBDC has earned a reputation as a one-stop shop offering free, expert-level advice to entrepreneurs looking to start, maintain, and grow their businesses,” the website states. ” is stated. “Since 2012, the funding supporting our center has more than doubled and our staff has grown to include four full-time employees and eight regular consultants.”
Ganz said the website and the center as a whole is very important to Lorain County. She said the county boasts a large number of small business owners and the center's goal is to help each business not only survive, but thrive.
“We have a lot of small businesses in our area,” she said. “SBDC is a really important component because we can coach you, educate you, and provide resources. We support you and all of our coaching is free. ”
Gantz said he had been running his own small business for six years. During that time, she had to learn a lot on the fly, mainly because of the 2008 financial crisis, she said.
Ganz explained that he wished he had access to the center or a similar location during his business activities. She has used her experience as a business owner to organize workshops and presentations for today's entrepreneurs.
“I'm a client of ours. I didn't know there was help out there,” Ganz said. “I didn't know I had to worry about who my customers were.”
Still, Ganz emphasized that there is no substitute for meeting in person. He encouraged website visitors to use the site as a way to connect with the center, rather than as a substitute for the center itself.
“Of course, we are still accepting individual reservations,” she said. “The website is really a way to connect you with us. Check us out, schedule an appointment… and come see us in person.”
Gantz said the SBDC will host a virtual “Learn to Launch” event on Dec. 8. This seminar, presented by Gantz, focuses on the basics of starting a small business and what business owners need to know to be prepared.