UGA offers small business consulting to local area
By Caitlin Boland

Rick McMurtrey, area director for the Augusta office of the UGA SBDC, is shown teaching a class to new business owners.
The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) consults with small businesses in Georgia to help not only start ups thrive but also help existing businesses improve.
“We are tasked with increasing the economic well-being of small businesses in Georgia,” said Rick McMurtrey, area director for the SBDC Augusta office. “We help get financing, put together projections, help refine business plans, develop marketing plans as well as social media strategies.”
McMurtrey added that SBDC also assists with human resource issues because many small businesses may be breaking laws that they don’t even realize they are breaking.
“A lot of people have great ideas for businesses but don’t have the skill set and knowledge of how to operate a business,” McMurtrey said. “An example is a recent graduate from medical school. They have the medical knowledge but don’t understand the accounting, human resources and other elements needed.”
The Augusta office is one of 17 throughout the state of Georgia with consultants at each office. There is also an international trade group in Atlanta to help businesses with international exports.
“We can help with just about anything a small for-profit business needs,” McMurtrey said.
The SBDC also offers classes for both experienced and beginning entrepreneurs including: financial management, business expansion, digital marketing, customer service, strategic planning, starting a business, raising capital and many more.
The consulting is at no charge.
According to the SBDC, businesses with the UGA SBDC make a big impact on the local economy. Over the last five years, UGA SBDC clients have:
•Started 1,422 new businesses;
•Created 11,785 new jobs;
•Generated over $8.9 billion in sales; and
•Obtained over $525 million in start-up and expansion capital.
McMurtrey said the UGA SBDC office has been in existence for 40 years. Each state in the United States has an SBDC office, and the Small Business Administration provides 50 percent of the funding of all the SBDC offices in the U.S. McMurtrey added that the rest of the majority of the funding comes from the state of Georgia.
FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS, see the full story in the Sept. 14, 2017, issue of The McDuffie Progress. To have The McDuffie Progress delivered to your home or business each week, simply call 706-595-1601 to subscribe. Or, follow the link on our home page to subscribe.





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