CCDA, Circle of Care to hold webinar on how start a small business in Alabama

Published 8:31 am Wednesday, January 20, 2021

On Thursday, Jan. 28, the Chambers County Development Authority, along with America’s Small Business Development Center (ASBDC), the Circle of Care and the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce will hold a webinar on starting small businesses in the state of Alabama.

“The core of what we do is partner with individuals and families to prevent and overcome life’s challenges,” Circle of Care Executive Director Jonathan Herston said. “When it comes to that financial stability, you can go the trade route, you can go the academic route or you can go entrepreneurship. Those are really the three most viable options for income … Whenever it’s a small business and it’s homegrown, they’re not going to chase incentives … My hope is with this new program that we’re developing, that it can be that stop-gap for people. It can be for those folks that want to start a business.”

ASBDC will discuss mostly business startups, financing and general information that newer entrepreneurs need to keep in mind while starting a business.

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“This is planting the seed for people and giving us an idea about people that are interested locally in starting a business and what’s the market,” Chambers County Development Authority Director of Commercial & Community Development Chris Busby said. “Where can we go to help these entrepreneurs? What do they need? What is the desire here for people to start new businesses?”

There will also be a panel of three local entrepreneurs to discuss their experiences about starting a business in the Greater Valley Area. The entrepreneurs are Bill Scott, who founded Knology and later became WOW!, Frank Norman, who helped found Johnny’s Pizza and Pokey’s and Clarence Heard, who founded Da Grub Spot in LaFayette.

“Those are going to be our three panelists who have experience in business startups both recently and historically,” Busby said. “Some of them are in the restaurant business, but all three of them have different paths.”

The plans for this webinar came through the CCDA and Circle of Care’s Incubation program. The program allows entrepreneurs to learn how to start a business. Alongside learning how to start, the project allows for companies to use a couple of office spaces at Circle of Care for meetings every now and then or access to office resources, such as a fax or copy machine.

“It is designed to give some of those basic things that they need but at a lower cost, so they can get to a point where their business can stand on its own and move out into the community,” Herston said.

The other part of the incubation program will allow small businesses that want to accelerate growth to expand their business.

This is just one of the programs that the incubation program will provide. Other programs have been delayed due to COVID-19.

The original plan was to have an in-person networking event, so plans had to change.

“Even though it is going to be virtual, this is still going to be a way to gauge the local interest in entrepreneurship,” Busby said.

The webinar is free to attend, but pre-registration is required. To register, go to and click sign up. The deadline to register is 8 a.m. on Jan. 28.

“We want our local people to succeed,” Busby said. “These programs are for Chambers County residents only. When you have local people, they are already invested in the community. They have roots here, so it makes them more likely to stay here, prosper and be involved in the community. I feel like if it is a local person starting a business, you’re going to have more support because you know who it is. It’s a pretty big deal.”