If you’re poised to start a new business, or have recently done so, Chelsea Groton Bank is making an offer you may not want to refuse. For the second time this year, the New London area financial institution is offering a free 13-week small business series for aspiring and established entrepreneurs, launching this week.
“Cultivating Great Business” is offered through the Bank’s financial literacy education program, Chelsea University. Participants will walk away with a wealth of knowledge and a well-organized business plan to pitch to a panel of community experts at the end of the series.
“There are so many factors that not only go into starting a business, but also maintaining and growing a successful company, that we want to offer a one-stop resource,” explained Lori Dufficy, EVP, Director of Sales & Service. “It is always inspiring to hear the ideas for new ventures and gratifying to assist them in reaching their goals, and what is especially exciting for us is when participants begin to collaborate together and share ideas and advice with each other.”
According to Entrepreneur Magazine, there are between 25 million and 27 million small businesses in the U.S. that account for 60 to 80 percent of all U.S. jobs. Small business has been described as “the most important cog in the United States economy, after consumer spending.”
Chelsea Groton Bank is hoping to build on the initial success of the small business series. At least one new small business sprouted out of that inaugural class, and several other participants already had small businesses and were looking for the best ways to grow their already existing businesses, officials said. Participants will leave the series with an understanding about how to craft a business plan and real world conversations about how to successfully launch or grow their business.
The instructor-led curriculum was developed jointly by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Each class will be delivered by Chelsea Groton bank employees and local area professionals to new or operating small business owners—with or without formal business training—to provide a practical introduction to aspects of starting and managing a business.
While some other financial institutions may offer financial literacy information, the public speaking aspect of Chelsea Groton’s program may be unique – and is particularly helpful for new and growing businesses to further their networking skills, and extend their expertise in business plan development and presentation. The Pitch Night at the concluding class session gives the small business owners the opportunity to have their business plans reviewed for feedback from representatives of Chelsea Groton, SeCTer, Score and the Women’s Small Business Development Center.
Classes meet on Tuesdays from 6-8 PM at the Center Groton Branch located at 1319 Gold Star Highway in Groton. Each class is broken into two distinct hour-long seminars covering different topics. Individuals are not required to be Chelsea Groton customers. Session dates and topics are:
September 24: 6-7 pm Time Management, 7-8 pm Record Keeping
October 1: 6-7 pm Banking Services, 7-8 pm Credit
October 8: 6-7 pm Financial Management, 7-8 pm Cash Flow
October 15: 6-7 pm Insurance, 7-8 pm Public Speaking
October 22: 6-7 pm Tax Planning and Reporting, 7-8 pm Succession Planning
October 29: 6-7 pm Organizational Types, 7-8 pm Risk Management
November 5: 6-8 pm Pitch Night
“Participants are welcome to pick and choose the seminar topics that appeal to them, however, to get the most out of the program, we recommend attending all of the classes,” said Miria Toth, AS, Community Education Officer at Chelsea Groton. “I was looking for ways to grow and improve the business I work for, and Chelsea Groton’s Small Business Program had tons of helpful information and professionals who can help me to reach my goals,” commented Elizabeth McKee, an Escape Room Operator.
Chelsea University offers a variety of in class experiences on personal finance, small business, and social media as well as an Online E-Learning Platform where individuals can have access to numerous courses, videos and articles about personal and business finance. In person classes can be found on at Chelseagroton.com/ChelseaUniversity and in person E-Learning classes can be found at Chelseagroton.enrich.org.
To register for classes, visit ChelseaGroton.com/ChelseaUniversity or email Miria Toth at firstname.lastname@example.org. Based in Groton, Conn., Chelsea Groton Bank is a full-service mutually owned bank with 14 branch locations throughout New London County and a Loan Production Office in Hartford County.
PHOTO: From left to right, Christian Cepeda, Elliot Eleazer, Amanda Raymond and Earnest Adams graduated from a previous Chelsea Groton Bank Small Business Series.