New Training Series for Small Town Merchants

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 18, 2012) — Small town retailers and restaurant businesses are the heart of our communities, so helping to ensure they thrive is vital to the local, state, and national economy.

The Kentucky Small Business Development Center’s (KSBDC) Small Town Merchant Program (STMP) will bring custom retail and restaurant business audits to small towns across the state. These business audits will assess everything from curb size appeal, merchandising, pricing structure and much more. Skilled SBDC consultants will then help business owners address weaknesses to strengthen and grow their businesses.

“We are so excited to bring this new program to the state,” said KSBDC State Director Becky Naugle. “Through this program we will be able to assist retailers and restaurant owners in rural communities and help them to build better businesses and, in turn, better local economies.”
“It is our hope that STMP will help rural retailers and restaurant owners alike adapt their businesses to a changing economy and a changing customer,” said Dee Dee Harbut, KSBDC special programs director. “The business audits will be a valuable tool to help focus both the consultant and business owner on key areas that need attention.”
The Small town Merchant Program will kick off in January 2013 with a series of workshops held across the state. These two-hour sessions will feature national retail consultant Marc Willson and focus on the timely topic of staying relevant to a changed customer. Following the session, several attendees will be chosen to receive a special business audit by Willson himself.

Following the STMP kickoff, KSBDC consultants will meet with attendees and other interested retailers and restaurants to offer additional business audits and continuing assistance in further refining their businesses. Learn more about the small town merchant program, including dates and locations.

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