VALDOSTA, GA – Southwest Georgia Bank announced Tuesday its sponsorship of the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber’s Business Plan Competition through 2016. Jeff Hanson made the official announcement at the Chamber’s final 2013 Quarterly Board Meeting at the Rainwater Conference Center.
The annual competition was created to inspire growth within the business community and to encourage the availability of positions for local college and university graduates. New businesses are judged based on their business plans, presentation and ability to hire local graduates. One winner is rewarded with $10,000 in start up capital and one free year as a Chamber member.
“Capital for start-up businesses is often a major obstacle,” says Jeff Hanson of Southwest Georgia Bank. “The SGB Business Plan Competition not only provides access to capital, it also provides assistance in developing viable business plans. These businesses target college and university graduates, which have proven to be critical in retaining local talent in our community.”
The program offers many opportunities for participants to meet and strategize with several of the area’s business powerhouses. Through the Chamber’s SEEDS Center, partnering with Valdosta State University and Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, competitors are able to attend classes and workshops which teach them how create and implement effective business plans. The Chamber’s Business University also offers Lunch N’ Learn meetings to teach participants other business concepts such as advertising, accounting, and legal obligations.
“Southwest Georgia Bank recognizes that small business is the backbone of our economy,” states Jeff Hanson, Executive Vice President of SGB. “An investment in small business is an investment in our community. Our long term commitment to the Business Plan Competition is a great way for SGB to re-invest capital into the community that has been so supportive of us, and it further demonstrates our long term commitment to Valdosta–Lowndes County.”
The winner for the 2014 Southwest Georgia Bank Business Plan Competition will be announced at the Chamber’s 102nd Annual Membership Meeting on January 30. Applications for the 2015 competition will be accepted beginning Friday, January 31. To register, go online to www.seedsbusinessresourcecenter.com, or call Varian Brown at (229) 247-8100.
Source: Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce Press Release