Small Business Center
Show Mobile Menu

Small Business Center

Gaston College Small Business Center helps entrepreneurs reap the rewards and reduce the risks of small business ownership

Small business ownership brings many potential rewards, and also definite risks. To be better prepared for the challenges of starting a new business or improving the effectiveness and efficiency of an existing small business, entrepreneurs should take advantage of the free resources provided by the Small Business Center (SBC) of Gaston College.

According to Mike Michalowicz, the entrepreneur behind three multi-million dollar companies, author of popular business books, and former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal, it is vital that small business owners surround themselves with experienced, trusted advisors and meet with them regularly. The free seminars led by local business experts and the one-on-one professional counseling offered by the Gaston College SBC are designed to help local entrepreneurs and their businesses thrive.

A wide range of small business seminars will be offered from September through November on the College’s Lincoln Campus in Lincolnton and Kimbrell Campus in Belmont. Each seminar meets from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The schedule is as follows:

So You Think You Have a Great Idea, Now What?
This seminar is designed to assist individuals who have a new and unique idea for a product or publication they want to bring to market.

  • Thursday, September 10     Kimbrell Campus

How to Start a Business
This introductory seminar is designed to acquaint aspiring business owners with the tools necessary to start their business. The seminar is led by an entrepreneur who has “been there, done that.”

  • Monday, September 14       Lincoln Campus
  • Thursday, September 17     Kimbrell Campus

Basics of Bookkeeping
A local CPA/Accountant discusses how to “set up the books” for your business.

  • Monday, September 21       Lincoln Campus
  • Thursday, September 24     Kimbrell Campus

How to Write a Business Plan
A local banker discusses the necessity and technique of developing and writing your business plan.

  • Monday, September 28       Lincoln Campus
  • Thursday, October 1           Kimbrell Campus

Financing Your Business
This seminar is a continuation of the business planning process and a discussion of funding sources for your business.

  • Monday, October 5             Lincoln Campus
  • Thursday, October 8           Kimbrell Campus

Marketing Your Business
This seminar is designed to introduce the business owner to the essential tools needed for branding and marketing.

  • Monday, October 12            Lincoln Campus
  • Thursday, October 15         Kimbrell Campus

Business Taxes
A local CPA/Accountant discusses financial statement formulation and terminology, self-employment and payroll taxes, tax theory and forms, and aspects of interacting with your finance and accounting professional.

  • Monday, October 19            Lincoln Campus
  • Thursday, October 22         Kimbrell Campus

Legal Issues
A local attorney discusses issues on business organization, legal obligations and the rights and legal liability of the small business owner.

  • Monday, October 26            Lincoln Campus
  • Thursday, October 29         Kimbrell Campus

How to Find Your Customers
This seminar will help you better understand your customers and how to reach them via use of demographics and psychographics. It will also include using social media.

  • Monday, November 2          Lincoln Campus
  • Thursday, November 5        Kimbrell Campus

Insurance Issues
A local insurance agent discusses the insurance needs of small business.

  • Monday, November 9          Lincoln Campus
  • Thursday, November 12      Kimbrell Campus

Human Resources (HR) for Business Owners
The greatest asset of a business is its employees. The HR professional leading this seminar will present the Do’s and Don’ts of hiring and firing and will advise on the HR records and files that must be kept.

  • Monday, November 16        Lincoln Campus
  • Thursday, November 19      Kimbrell Campus

The SBC, in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service, also will present a seven-part series entitled “STEP” (Small Business Tax Education Program). The three-hour sessions (6:30 to 9:30 p.m.) will be held on the Dallas Campus of Gaston College starting on Tuesday, September 15. The sessions are:

STEP I: Introduction and Orientation

Tuesday, September 15  – Dallas Campus

STEP II: Small Businesses and the Affordable Health Care Act

 Tuesday, September 22  – Dallas Campus

STEP III: Financial Reports, Accounting and Compiling Data for the IRS and State

 Tuesday, September 29 – Dallas Campus

STEP IV: Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships

 Tuesday, October 6 – Dallas Campus

STEP V: Corporations (S-Corp vs. C-Corp)

 Tuesday, October 13  – Dallas Campus

STEP VI: Employee or Contractor, Payroll and Service Provider

 Tuesday, October 20 – Dallas Campus

STEP VII: Reporting, Regulations, 2015 Update, and What to Expect

 Tuesday, October 27 – Dallas Campus

It is strongly recommended that those interested in starting or strengthening a small business attend each of these free seminars and sessions offered by the Gaston College Small Business Center. Attending all of the courses, scheduling one-on-one counseling appointments, and taking advantage of the SBC resource center will put entrepreneurs on the path to small business success.

“I attribute a great deal of my success to the guidance and support of the Gaston College Small Business Center,” said Dr. Crystal Mitchem, owner of West Lincoln Veterinary Hospital in Vale, N.C. “They helped me get my business started and they are still a great resource for contacts, information and advice.”

Brad Rivers, the director of the Gaston College SBC, provides counseling to the small business owners who use the center’s services. “It is very gratifying to know that we have been instrumental in helping so many people get their businesses off the ground,” he said. “And the business owners know that we are here to provide additional support and advice as those businesses evolve.”

To register for Small Business Center seminars, go to

For more information about the seminars and services offered, contact Cynthia Cash at 704-922-6447 or

Print Friendly