CMCA, university extension offer classes for small business owners

As Fulton’s Brick District Committee continues its efforts to draw new businesses downtown, two local organizations are providing classes to help hopeful entrepreneurs get started.

Central Missouri Community Action has a class on how to start a new business, and the University Extension Office in Callaway County will be hosting a series of entrepreneurship workshops.

Jennifer Grisham, the CMCA financial education coordinator, said the organization started offering the small business class about a year ago because “it goes along with CMCA’s mission to help people become self-reliant.”

Starting at the beginning of August, Grisham said CMCA officials plan to start holding the class on a quarterly basis at its Boone County office in Columbia and at the Cole County office in Jefferson City, but said if enough interest is generated in Callaway a class could be offered in Fulton as well.

For a $125 fee — which covers a book and the cost of putting on the class — students get a six-week class with 10-12 sessions. Grisham said the class provides would-be business owners with everything they need to get started.

“We work through a feasibility process, we look at marketing and pricing strategy, financials, we talk about the legal structure of a business. We teach them the things they need to think about before starting a business,” she said. “They come out of the class with a feasibility study and all of the components of a business plan so they can go to lenders and get financing.”

Grisham said Central Missouri Community Action is working on putting up a class calendar and registration forms on its website at www.showmeaction.org. In the meantime, those interested in registering for the course should contact Grisham at (573) 635-4480 or at jennifer-grisham@showmeaction.org.

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