Seventeen entrepreneurs hope to get their ventures off the ground in a county said to be suited to small business.
From a woman in Friendship hoping to form a partnership with a restaurant owner to a Bolivar man who’s been developing a new line of children’s golf clubs, they have one thing in common. They are part of the ACCORD Corporation’s Entrepreneurial Assistance Program (EAP) graduating classes of last fall or this spring. Both classes were honored Friday during a ceremony at the Crossroads Commerce & Conference Center.
“First of all, I’d like to congratulate you on how far you’ve come,” said Gretchen Hanchett, ACCORD business and community development director. “Not all of those who start out with our program make it to the point you are now.”
From 1987 to 2007, the EAP has helped 1,104 new clients and has helped 151 businesses get started. It has helped to save 40 businesses. The program has helped increase businesses’ sales by $606,498 and has secured about $6.75 million in financing for businesses. The program has helped to create 213 jobs and saved 374.
“Formany business owners, failure is not an option,” said Hanchett. She said what sets the successful businessmen and businesswomen apart is their knowledge and their willingness to do what it takes to succeed.
Keynote speaker Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, said her son, Patrick, wished he’d learned more about how to be an entrepreneur. She told of a report that 94 percent of all new jobs in the state are through small businesses.
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