FREMONT, Ohio – Local community colleges have been helping connect people with jobs for years. Now, Terra State Community College is also providing direct assistance to local small businesses.
The Fremont-based college has become a leading figure in workforce development in northwest Ohio, helping potential employees obtain training and certifications to fill jobs.
Now, with funding from a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Grant program, a new business resource center has launched inside the Kern Center at Terra State.
The goal is to help better serve existing small businesses, rather than focusing on startups or larger companies.
“The gap was: the small businesses in the middle really had nowhere to go if they had questions,” said Terra State spokesman Cory Stine. “So our small business center will be able to handle that with things like marketing assistance or year-end tax filings.”
Terra State Business Resource Manager Carolyn Rodenhauser said it’s important to not only serve people trying to find a job in the area, but also make sure the needs of small businesses are met to provide a strong local economy.
The grant will fund the business resource center through next summer.
Some of its offerings include a call center, mentoring programs and free training for locally owned businesses in Sandusky, Seneca, Ottawa, Erie and Huron counties.
“We have professionals who have owned businesses, they’ve been through trials, they understand a lot of the ins and outs. And that’s our goal, is to help other businesses grow in the community,” Rodenhauser said.
The center fills gaps where some entrepreneurs need help, Stine said.
“Often they have a great idea and a good support network of friends, but they need a little help understanding the red tape of paperwork and the law, or where to go to put some bits and pieces together. That’s what we believe the small business center is doing,” Stine said.
The Business Resource Center can be reached by phone at 419-559-2491 or online.
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