|Free Business Assistance Center opens|
|Written by Greg Ruland|
|Wednesday, 17 November 2010 00:00|
With numerous computer terminals, meeting rooms, plenty of desk space and a formal conference room with video capability and giant glass table, the county’s new Business Assistance Center offers first-class accommodations at a reasonable price.
The BAC, which is free, is attracting many types of entrepreneurs, like the home office operator who needs a place to meet with out-of-town clients or network with colleagues.
Melanie Roberts is an education consultant who works out of her home in Sedona. She dropped by Monday, Nov. 15, to check out the new center, located at 851 N. Main St., and met with administrative assistant, Glen Pillow.
Pillow talked her into signing up for a membership, no charge. Using her membership, Roberts can schedule the use of any computing equipment or conference room at the center at no cost.
She promised to schedule a business assessment provided by the center, a 30-minute discussion about the status of her business that allows BAC to identify any needs it is equipped to help her with.
Roberts said she was impressed by the space and the assistance she was provided.
One useful benefit of membership for computer-challenged entrepreneurs is Pillow’s expertise as a consultant on computerized business systems.
Pillow sees it as his duty to help any Yavapai County business owner in need, either by himself, or by drawing on the expertise of other BAC partners, like Yavapai College, where business courses are available.
Pillow said the public agency partners that made the Cottonwood BAC possible, including the Northern Arizona Council of Governments, provided grant funds and other types of financial support that permits the center to offer accommodations at no charge to members.
BAC helps develop business plans, helps locate business grants, and provides employment training, under the guidance of Cottonwood Economic Development Director Casey Rooney. Rooney originated the idea to establish the center in Cottonwood after visiting a similar center in Prescott.
In addition to NACOG and the college, Yavapai County and the city of Cottonwood made financial and in-kind donations to get the center open. A grand-opening ceremony Nov. 10 drew more than 70 people.
The center occupies space formerly occupied by the city’s Planning and Zoning Department.