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Chamber caters to small business

Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce is striving to cater to its small business owners.

Bettye Sisco, president of the Chamber, has announced a partnership with Tennessee Small Business Development Center, based out of Pellissippi Technical Community College.

“We are thrilled with the partnership because we feel that it will serve as a special benefit to our membership in the continued success and growth of all their businesses,” Sisco said.

“We’re very happy to have the expertise of Joe Andrews [of TSBDC] and all of his partners to be helping us and teaching in this program,” she added.

“We’re just expanding out to reach the business community,” Andrews said, adding that TSBDC also works with the Knoxville, Oak Ridge and Blount County chambers.

TSBDC currently is offering weekly counseling sessions with small business owners at the Farragut West Knox Chamber offices.

“We’ve made an arrangement where we are going to the Farragut Chamber once a week to help serve the businesses out there, existing or start-ups,” Andrews said.

“We work by appointments through the Chamber or through our Web site,” he added.

Andrews prefers to refer to these appointments as “consulting” sessions, not as “training.”

“We’re actually doing consulting with small businesses, both existing and start-ups … we do a lot of marketing, consulting, financial consulting, accounting. Basically, it’s the whole gamut of business topics.

“We stay pretty busy,” Andrews said.

Andrews said the staff of TSBDC is highly qualified.

“Every staff member we have is certified through the Small Business Development Center, and individually, all of us have owned and operated businesses. So we have various experiences and backgrounds. We use each other’s strengths,” Andrews said.

“We try to share counseling on those things,” he added.

TSBDC also offers classes three times per month and is beginning to offer some training, such as their Strategic Management Learning Series, online.

“An added benefit to being a member of the Farragut West Knox Chamber is having the expertise of Pellissippi and the Business Development Center,” Sisco said of the offerings TSBDC brings to the table.

“It makes it an added plus,” she added.

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