Dinniman suggests entreprenuers seek free business counseling

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State Sen. Andrew Dinniman with volunteers from SCORE Chester County on the Senate floor during a recent visit to the State Capitol in Harrisburg. Pictured (from left to right) Barbara Forslund, Chief Operating Office of Advanced Geo Services, Senator Dinniman, Bob Wingerter, chairman of the Chester County SCORE Chapter, and David Paxton, Vice Chairman of the Chester County SCORE Chapter.

WEST CHESTER – State Senator Andy Dinniman said the current economic climate certainly offer challenges but also opportunities for  aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners and urged them to take advantage of free business counseling services.

“If you own your own business or are interested in starting one, I urge you to contact organizations like SCORE Chester County,” Dinniman said. “Don’t let tough economic times put your dreams on hold. Volunteers such as those with SCORE have decades of experience in business and can help get your company off the ground and continue to succeed in the marketplace.”

SCORE is a volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping aspiring entrepreneurs and those already in business with free counseling, advice and expertise. The organization also offers seminars and workshops in conjunction with the Kutztown Small Business Development Center, as well roundtable discussions on various business topics.

“Our goal is to assist people who are starting a business and to assist small businesses that are currently up and running,” said Bob Wingerter, chairman of the Chester County SCORE Chapter. “Our volunteers have diverse business backgrounds and have had diverse careers. We are in it to give back. We want to give back to the community and share our knowledge with others.”

SCORE Chester County has 45 volunteers whose combined experience and knowledge matches those of most business school faculties.  Last year, the organization, which has six locations throughout Chester County, helped more than 12,000 local entrepreneurs and business owners.

“As we continue to pull out of this recession, it’s great to know that we have experienced businessmen and women in Chester County who are eager to help others achieve the American dream,” Dinniamn said. “And we know that when businesses succeed economically, they improve the tax base, and bring jobs and improve the quality of life in our communities.”

Barbara Forslund, Chief Operating Office of Advanced Geo Services, said that SCORE volunteers helped her get her company up and running and continue to advise her as it grows and matures.

“We’ve been utilizing SCORE services during this recession to help expand our thinking and get into areas that we otherwise might not be getting into,” she said. “They really provide a fresh look and advice on attracting new clients, marketing and expansion into new areas.”

Forslund, who founded Advanced GeoServices in 1992 with six employees and today employs a staff of 60 at four locations throughout Pennsylvania, encouraged aspiring entrepreneurs not to be intimidated by the economic downturn.

“In times like this there are a lot of things that are open to negotiation that otherwise wouldn’t be… You tend to partner with your vendors and suppliers. They are looking for you to be successful as part of their continued success,” she said.  “And people are generally more open to opportunities during a recession then they would be when things are going great and they wouldn’t have to consider it. They will really look for ways to work with you. It actually can be a really good time to start a business”

SCORE is the nation’s largest volunteer business counseling service with more than 360 chapters throughout the nation and 13,000 volunteers. Nationally they have helped more than 8 million.

For more information on SCORE Chester County visit www.scorechesco.org.

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