Huntington town officials are set to open at town hall a business center whose aim is to help small businesses help themselves.
The Small Business Resource and Recovery Center, which opens next week, will provide entrepreneurs and business owners with advice and tools that will help stimulate economic development in the town, officials said.
Although the center will mostly be self-help, employees of the town’s community development agency and council staff will oversee the center, help entrepreneurs learn how to create business plans and link them with contacts in banking and financial services, and provide research materials from sources such as local universities. The center also will offer assistance with creating and cultivating websites, provide computer tutorials and provide ways to increase networking capabilities.
“People can spend time at the center doing research on how to start a new business, and protect and preserve their existing business when unforeseen events occur,” said town board member Mark Mayoka, an accountant who also has a law degree.
He expects to volunteer at the center, answering questions from businesses and prospective businesses owners.
The center will have computers and Internet access for businesses to conduct research and write their business plans. Through the center, town officials will direct businesses to local banks and other service providers that have agreed to assist at reduced costs. A dedicated website for the center is under construction, officials said.
Town spokesman A.J. Carter said the center will operate at no additional cost to residents because the council and community development staff will be helping out as part of their regular day-to-day duties.
“This is being done with existing resources,” Carter said. “We’re using existing phones and computers; no equipment is being purchased for this."