People with a creative idea for a new business received advice on how to turn their dream into a reality recently.
The Small Business Development Center hosted a ''Meet Your Lenders'' seminar at Jamestown Community College, with 30 business owners and 17 lenders participating.
Lenders representing local banks and area loan funds who introduced themselves and their programs. The forum allowed anyone interested in a business loan to meet area lenders to gain information on the best steps to obtain financing.
From left, Maria Continenza and Courtney Barmore from First Niagara Bank speak to Ron Crowell and Andrew Diaz during the Small Business Development Center’s ‘‘Meet Your Lenders’’ seminar at Jamestown Community College recently.
P-J photo by Dennis Phillips
Irene Dobies, Small Business Development Center director, said the seminar was a unique opportunity for any business owner looking for financial assistance. She said they had a chance to discover what is available, what it takes to secure business funding and meet local people who can help.
''Sometimes people will go to a bank and ask for funding and get turned down. Then they just give up,'' Dobies said. ''Here they learn that there are several lenders and more than one option.''
Dobies said the seminar was great for bankers too because they are introduced to several potential clients. Eric Garvin, Community Bank commercial banking officer vice president, said the most important advice he gave business owners with an idea was to know exactly what you want to do.
''Basically, plan everything out. Before jumping into business, do you homework before talking to people about financing,'' he said. ''That is what SBDC does. They help provide a service that allows people to organize their thoughts. They help put the idea into terms a banker will understand.''
Garvin said there are several different ways a bank can help a small business owner with money. He said there are three important items to know before asking a lender for funding.
''You need to know how much money you want, how you will pay back the bank and what you have for collateral,'' he said.
Ron Crowell and Andrew Diaz of Dunkirk were on hand because they have an idea for an automotive business. They said the main piece of advice they took away from the seminar is to be prepared.
''We're being told don't rush into it. Cross your T's and dot your T's,'' Crowell said. ''Do all your homework. Don't take the test until you've studied.''