SMALL BUSINESS BANNER:                                      December 2014
Did You Know?

The Georgia Department of Economic Development ranks #1 "Best in Class" for state-level economic development agency in the US (International Economic Development Council 11/14)

Discover resources offered by the State of Georgia:


Is Small Business Saturday just a bunch of hype?


According to a study done by The National Federation of Independent Business and American Express, 88 million consumers were "Shopping Small" on November 29th, up 14.9 percent from just a year ago. U.S. consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday spent $14.3 billion with independent retailers and restaurants on the day, an increase of 2.1 percent from $14 billion in 2013. That's good. 


Unfortunately, the average person who shopped on Small Business Saturday spent $162, down 11.5 percent from the previous year. Though average spending was down, the study concluded "overall spending was boosted by strong awareness and the sheer volume of shoppers supporting their local businesses on the day."


And let's face it: awareness was strong. Politicians were everywhere showing their love of the small business voter. President Obama shopped for books at a local retailer. The U .S. Senate, 40 state governments and 450 cities passed resolutions and proclamations celebrating the merchant. Thousands of neighborhood communities championed the cause. Hundreds of larger companies were official supporters and the bigger ones, like American Express (the event's main sponsor), FedEx and Microsoft fashioned marketing campaigns directed at their small business customers.  Everyone seemingly jumped on the train...

 To read the full story, Click HERE
Classes in Your Area...
Sponsored by the Small Business Development Center through UGA.
Starting a Business (Class will be in Spanish)
January 27, 2015
6:00 PM
Dalton Community Center


Issues to discuss: 

  •          Features  for successful entrepreneurs
  •          Research  the Market
  •          Legal Business Structures
  •          Projections and budgets
  •          Options for funding
  •          The most common causes of failure
  •          Planning 

Because lack of good planning is one of the common causes of failure, it is a good idea to take this class before opening your business. A book called "How to Start Your Business" and other forms of instruction are included.


 Click  HERE to learn more!

Take Advantage of these FREE Opportunities... 
Provided by SCORE 
5 Easy Things You Can Do In The New Year To Grow Your Business

Tuesday, December 16th 
1:00 PM Eastern Time


Take a break from the holidays - and from shopping! - and spend an hour getting your business ready for next year.


Join senior USA TODAY small business columnist Steve Strauss and as they share some simple, easy, and affordable things you can do to make more money and grow your business next year. 

In this webinar, sponsored by, you'll learn new ways to improve your bottom line in the new year.


Click   HERE to register today!

Understanding the Affordable Care Act & the Impact it will have on Your Business

Thursday, December 18th
1:00 p.m. Eastern Time


Get up to date information on the Affordable Care Act and the affects it will have on your business.
Hear from Chuck Lovelace of Liberty Tax Service as he reviews the background and the timeline of the Affordable Care Act and provides information on recent changes to the law that will impact small business owners and their employees.
Join us for this 1-hour webinar to learn:
  • How the ACA defines a large business and a small business.
  • About the employer mandate and how it will affect employers. 
  • What is considered a Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employee.  
  • How the Employer Shared Responsibility Provision (ESRP) will affect businesses.
  • About the small business tax credit. 
  • About the Small Business Health Insurance Options Program (SHOP). 
  • How the employer mandate will affect employees. 
Click  HERE to learn more.
Are You Tracking Your Marketing during Christmas?
By: Matt Pearce

If you are in retail, I don't have to tell you that your big selling season is just around the corner.  You have probably spent a lot of time and effort planning what you are going to do between now and January 1st.


Maybe you have some extended hours planned for Thanksgiving weekend.  Santa might be coming to your store on Saturday, December 6.  During the week of December 8, you might be offering free gift wrap with any purchase over a certain amount, or on some specific product line.  On December 22, 23 and 24, you may have something going on to help men with their shopping - because we all know guys wait until the last possible moment.


Before you get started on all of this, I would like for you to think about how you will determine what was successful and what wasn't.  A big part of an effective marketing program is measuring your results against your expectations.  And, marketing success is not always measured in dollars and cents (humor me for a moment).  A lot of times, it is about getting more potential customers through your door.


Click  here to read the entire story.
For Small Business Assistance contact: 
Andrew Carnes                                     Summer Nix
Executive Director                       Project Manager
706-712-0958                                    706-712-0953
100 S. Hamilton Street, Dalton, GA 30720
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