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SCORE professionals offer their knowledge to new entrepreneurs

April 22, 2007|By BOB POOR

Q:I have noticed the SCORE billboards around the area. Just how does SCORE go about helping small business?

A: This year, national Small Business Week, April 23-28, celebrates the tremendous importance of small business to the American economy, our local community and our way of life.

According to a study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, at any given time, 10 million Americans are thinking about starting a business. Entrepreneurs who succeed in turning their dreams into reality know that information is power. They seek help and advice from SCORE's business professionals, who have time-tested knowledge and expertise.

These counselors bring vast experience from owning their own businesses, managing Fortune 500 corporations or serving as managers in manufacturing and service companies.

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SCORE - Counselors to America's Small Business - is a national nonprofit association. SCORE works by matching business management counselors with current and prospective small-business owners in need of expert advice.

With more than 10,500 working or retired volunteers in 389 chapters nationwide, SCORE has experts in virtually every area of business management.

SCORE counselors are ready to assist small-business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with business plans, loan applications, marketing techniques and more. All counseling services are free and confidential.

Starting a new business can be time-consuming, overwhelming and a serious gamble. Learning from the experience of others is a smart way to avoid making critical mistakes. And asking for help is the best way to solve a problem before it grows. SCORE counselors can guide you along the path to business success.

Here in Hagerstown, the local SCORE chapter offers counseling, mentoring and low-cost small-business seminars. Especially popular and well-attended are the "How to Really Start Your Own Business" series, which can be attended by registering with the Continuing Education department at Hagerstown Community College. Sessions are scheduled for April and October this year.

A Basic Tax Seminar also is provided, free of charge, each January at Hagerstown Business College.

Information on all seminars is published in the Money section of the Sunday Herald-Mail, the HCC Continuing Education catalog and on the SCORE Web site at www.scorehagerstown.org.

Anyone interested in becoming a SCORE small-business counselor can get more details by calling the SCORE office at 301-739-2015, ext. 103. We currently are recruiting counselors and would welcome your interest.

Robert A. "Bob" Poor is a local small-business owner/operator. He is chairman of the local SCORE chapter, a small-business counselor and a regular contributor to the Ask SCORE column.

Questions may be e-mailed to him at r.poor@myactv.net or by mail in care of The Herald-Mail, P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, MD 21741, ATTN: Ask SCORE column.

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