Downtown development seminar held at Burleson Center

City leaders and small business owners alike gathered together last Friday morning at the Burleson Center to learn about developing businesses in downtown Hartselle. The event was sponsored by the North Central Alabama Regional Council of Governments (NARCOG.)

Alabama Main Street field services specialist Trisha Black presented a program to attendees on what can be done to help make business thrive on Main Street.

Hartselle is one of Alabama Main Street’s 23 network communities. Black said there are many incentives that go along with the NARCOG sponsored designation including free business webinars and discounts on online training.

Black spoke about steps the city, citizens and business owners can take to make Hartselle’s downtown one where business is attractive and flourishes. One such step was to have a “one-stop shop” for new business owners to utilize.

“These are tools that not everyone realizes are out there that existing business can use to expand their inventory, to build out new space as well as tools that could be offered to people who are looking to relocate or open up a business in downtown Hartselle,” Black said. “It’s about sharing that information and making sure people are aware of what’s out there.”

Black said that communities can very quickly earn a reputation for not being business-friendly, and her organization works with communities all across the state to fix that.

“Starting a business is not easy and unfortunately a lot of people don’t even have a business plan,” she said. “Connecting them with small business plan assistance maybe through the chamber or providing those checklists will help people who are looking to opening a business in downtown Hartselle.”

“We want those people to know that there are resources out there to help them, not only for small business planning but help with loans that could offset the expense on the front end so they could be paying that back down the road.”

Black will hold an economic vitality seminar at the Decatur-Morgan Entrepreneurial Center in Decatur at 10:30 a.m. in conjunction with NARCOG’s CEDS Strategy Committee meeting. 

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