Originally created 09/26/00

Street fair to inform businesses



The CSRA Development Cos. and other local organizations are planning a free event to inform small businesses about government-sponsored opportunities - loans, contracts and technical support.

The Small Business Street Fair will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 11 at Riverwalk Augusta near Eighth Street.

More than a dozen organizations - including the U.S. Small Business Administration, Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, University of Georgia Small Business Development Center and bank representatives - will have booths at the fair.

"This is a small-business town," said Randy Griffin, a spokesman for the CSRA Development Cos. "Think of all the people you go to church with and play golf with who own their own businesses."

Event organizers and sponsors said the fair is designed to tell small-business owners about the programs available to them.

Banks will be on hand to discuss the commercial loan process. The University of Georgia and the Georgia Institute of Technology will be at the fair to explain how they can offer technical support. And officials from government agencies will have information on how to bid for government contracts.

"There are so many resources available to small businesses that they are not aware of," said Elliot Price, the area manager of Georgia Tech's Economic Development Institute. "There's a lot of programs out there to help new businesses beat the odds."

The fair is sponsored by the Small Business Administration, Chamber of Commerce, CSRA Development Cos. and The Augusta Chronicle, which will have a booth to promote its online business solutions venture.

Sponsors recently mailed hundreds of invitations and are posting fliers. Two hundred to 250 small-business representatives are expected to attend.

"It will be a great opportunity to meet face to face with people," said Jackie Moore, area director of the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center. "You can talk to them when you might otherwise have trouble getting past the gatekeeper."

Reach Frank Witsil at 823-3352.