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Help for aspiring business owners

The Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation will hold its Entrepreneurial Assistance Program (EAP) beginning September 16. The 15-week training curriculum is designed to provide current and future business owners with the skills and knowledge that are critical to produce an effective business plan and operate a successful business.

The program, taught by leading industry professionals with expertise in each respective subject, will address issues crucial to starting or maintaining a small business in Brooklyn. It accommodates the beginning entrepreneur as well as experienced businesspeople that wish to refine their skills, and is taught by leading industry professionals with expertise in their respective subject. Topics to be covered include:

• Developing a business plan that works

• Creating a viable marketing plan

• Understanding legal structures you can use to form a business

• Mastering the basics of accounting and bookkeeping

• Preparing financial statements, including cash flow analysis

• Certifying your business for government contracts

• Understanding the commercial real estate market

• Effectively using technology in your business

• Getting business financing

The course will be held weekly from 6:30-9:30 on Tuesdays. Classes will be held at BEDC’s offices, currently located at 175 Remsen St, Suite 350, in Brooklyn Heights.

Registration is online at www.bedc.org/eap_01.htmor by telephone at 718-522-4600 extension 10. The fee is $240, which must be paid in full prior to the first class. A 10% discount is offered for early registration. Register before August 28, 2008 to in order to receive the discount.

More than 1,000 individuals have graduated from the Entrepreneur Training Program since BEDC began offering it and many have gone on to start successful businesses. Examples of businesses started include Naturally Delicious, a catering business in Brooklyn; EscapeMaker.com, an Internet travel company and Perfect Corner Custom Picture Framing, owned by Joe Alameda and his wife, Marion.

Mr. Alameda, a retired New York City Police officer, said he found BEDC’s entrepreneur course very valuable. “I learned a lot,” he said. “If you come out of the class learning one thing and you can apply it, it’s worth it…I learned quite a bit from the classes at BEDC and from the help I’ve gotten afterwards. When I’ve run across a problem in my business, every time I’ve called BEDC, I’ve gotten a call back and the problem has been taken care of.”

The EAP program is funded under grants from NYS Empire State Development and through fees and private donations.

More information for BEDC can be found at www.bedc.org.

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