Web site offers help starting a business

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 24, 2006

No matter how marketable an idea may seem, transforming the idea into a profitable business

can be very difficult.

That hardship is especially true in the 12 historically poor counties on which Gov. Bob Riley focuses with his Black Belt Action Commission. To help residents get their ideas off the ground, the BBAC recently launched a Web site to serve as a one-stop Internet resource for entrepreneurs who want to put their ideas to work.

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The Alabama Department of Industrial Relations assembles its many job-seeking and job-starting resources on the single site -dir.alabama.gov/ralbusiness/default.aspx – to provide assistance to Black Belt residents who want to start or improve their own businesses.

“This Web site is a compilation of resources for small business owners,” industrial relations Director Phyllis Kennedy said. “There was no other place where these resources were available.”

The site includes information on subjects important to entrepreneurs, such as:

– How to start a business

– Contacting local cities or towns

– Getting a business or occupation licensed

– Sample business plans

– Policy, legal and legislative issues

– How to file required taxes on the Internet

– Insurance issues.

Kennedy said the Web site has not yet reached perfection. She’s certain, she added, that people will inform her office of utilities and services they need access to for their business.

“It might not be all-inclusive at this point, but if any business owners or other sources of information have anything to add to the Web site, or suggestions for improvement, please let us know.”

The Black Belt Action Commission, which serves Bullock, Choctaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Perry, Pickens, Sumter and Wilcox counties, was established by Gov. Riley in August 2004 to address inadequacies in the region.