group of attendees seated at tables

Chattanooga State’s Small Business Development Center Supports Area Entrepreneurs


Mitch Patel
Mitch Patel

Chattanooga State has been a local leader in supporting entrepreneurs since before startups became cool. Through our local office of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC), Chattanooga State TSBDC employees deliver programs and services to area small businesses with regional partners like our local Chamber of Commerce and The Company Lab.

Our local Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) is part of a network of small business counselors with more than 1,000 counselors nationwide. As the Small Business Administration’s go-to technical assistance provider, the TSBDC has provided counseling and training services in 14 locations across Tennessee aimed at helping existing small businesses succeed for 27 years. TSBDC has a full-time staff dedicated to its clients, and most of their services are either free or a small charge.

Recently the TSBDC and The Company Lab continued their commitment to small business entrepreneurs as they presented the “CEO Speaker Series” on Wednesday, January 15. Sponsored by Cohutta Banking Company and held at the Doubletree Hotel Ballroom, the keynote speaker was Mitch Patel, founder, president and CEO of Vision Hospitality Group.

Mr. Patel told us: “Many people helped me on my entrepreneurial journey with advice and guidance, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.  The opportunity to share my experiences with fellow business owners was as gratifying as it was energizing.” He went on to say that “the lifeblood of the American economy is entrepreneurship and innovation and this often manifests itself in small businesses. The CEO Speaker Series is a wonderful opportunity for small business owners to learn from, and exchange ideas with, local business leaders. I believe that this kind of interaction can go a long way in developing and inspiring the next generation of Chattanooga’s business leaders.”

At the community event, Mr. Patel and a local panel of executives shared their entrepreneurial knowledge and answered questions from attendees.

The next local TSBDC event is a workshop on Friday, February 14 from 9-11 a.m. and the topic is SBA Loans for Tennessee’s Small Business. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers government guaranteed loans through lenders that are committed to helping small businesses succeed in Tennessee. Join guest speakers Sue Malone of Superior Financial Group and Mary Elizabeth Hoehn of Pathway Lending. Both lenders specialize in small dollar loans to enable “existing” and “start-up” businesses to acquire working capital through the SBA guaranteed loan product within the $5,000-25,000 range. These workshops typically attract a standing-room-only audience as many small business owners are interested in the less than $25,000 dollar range.

image005The workshop will be held at the Business Development Center Conference Room located at 100 Cherokee Blvd in Chattanooga. Learn more and register today by calling Chattanooga State’s TSBDC professionals at 423-756-8668.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *