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Posts published in August 2008

Chamber to offer new Business Initiative programs

Innovative programs for business, students with LSC as partner

NORTH HOUSTON – A partnership between the Lone Star College-North Harris, and the North Houston Greenspoint Chamber of Commerce, will offer a unique set of resources to new and existing businesses, to help them start a business, grow it, or train employees and owners with new skills. This partnership will be named the Center for Business Development. It will use resources of the college and the chamber, and be housed in the LSC-Greenspoint building on the Sam Houston Parkway East. Several entities of the college will be involved, including the college, the corporate college, and the Small Business Development Center.

This program is expected to benefit the chamber, with new member prospects; the college, with referrals for new small business services; and area management districts, that are expected to help fund the program and then offer the services of the CBD to their members and service areas as an additional benefit to small businesses interested in economic development.

The CBD will offer the following elements:

1. A resource center and business incubator, offering affordable space, shared office equipment and conference rooms, etc. for start-ups;

2. Training, consulting, and technical assistance for entrepreneurs, corporate employees, principals, students, and the community;

3. Networking opportunities to share information on business and technical topics.

It is expected that the CBD will offer seminars and workshops in various subjects of interest, including:

With the Lone Star College-North Harris college:

1. Starting and Managing a Home-Based or Small Business
2. Tax Workshop
3. Fast Trac© New Venture
4. Financial Management
5. Legal Issues
6. Leadership Institute
7. Listening to your Business© Workshop.

And with the LSC Small Business Development Center, the following workshops:

1. Writing a Business Plan
2. Marketing on a Dime
3. Starting a Restaurant
4. Government relations
5. Small Business Taxes
6. Legal Issues especially for small businesses
7. Software for Small Businesses, and Industry specific.

It is expected that as time goes by, the mission of the CBD will be modified to respond to needs of the businesses to be served and the chamber.

Information sessions for busineses that are being considered are Accounting, Banking, Financing, Law, Marketing/ Graphics, Employee Benefits, Real Estate, Insurance, Security, Management/Operations, and Business Development. Many of these sessions will draw on the resources available from existing Chamber members.

As outlined by Gray, the Mission of the CBD will be to advance economic development in the Chamber and college service areas, through an “array” of educational and business solutions and resources to individuals, small businesses, and corporations.

The Strategy of the CBD is to combine the services of the partners and leverage their individual strengths into an important, major support center. The strategy will include identifying companies seeking assistance, and directing them to the proper CBD partner.

The CBD Vision is to increase economic and community development, small business impact, and visibility of our partners in the North Houston Greenspoint business community.

Student Ambassadors

A second pioneering program, as described by chamber president Reggie Gray, is known as the Student Ambassadors program. By partnering with a business that signs up as a new chamber member, the student earns 25% of the membership fee towards his college expenses. This allows the student to earn up to $1250 toward his expenses, on an available time basis.