published Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Dayton leaders plan for business resource center

  • photo
    Anna Tromanhauser, executive director of Main Street Dayton
    Photo by Lesley Onstott

DAYTON, Tenn. -- MainStreet Dayton plans to establish a business resource center as a 2012 goal, according to the group's leader.

Executive Director Anna Tromanhauser said board members will review locations for the entrepreneurial center, which she said will provide "a full list of resources" for potential, new and existing businesses. She said organizers will look later this year for people to offer services at the center.

In August 2011, the board's economic restructuring committee discussed plans to create Rhea County's first business incubator to offer assistance to start-up businesses.

Jim Barth, chairman of the committee, said such a facility would "build strength into [companies'] whole business."

Tromanhauser clarified that the plans involve a business center, not an incubator.

Marlin Waldorff, a small business specialist with the Small Business Development Center in Chattanooga, said a resource center offers available services, rather than housing small businesses.

"I'm involved with the counseling end of it," Waldorff said.

Tromanhauser said the center would help identify locations for businesses to rent or lease, along with having someone on site to counsel owners about using social networking or having and maintaining a website to help advertise their businesses.

She said she wanted to utilize the expertise of local business owners to counsel newcomers and help them pull together business ideas and concepts, including bookkeeping, necessary licenses and tax documentation.

The center's development would involve a partnership with local entities, such as the Rhea County Chamber of Commerce, the Rhea Economic and Tourism Council and Chattanooga State -- Dayton.

Waldorff will speak at the Rhea County Welcome Center today at 7:30 a.m. at the chamber's monthly breakfast.

Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at kdj424

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