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Knowledge is power for small businesses

Everyone knows that the stimulus package money is coming to Alabama, but what does that mean to business people in this state? How can small business owners take advantage of this opportunity, and what other kinds of opportunities are there?

A seminar held at the Demopolis Civic Center on Friday focused on those questions and others that regional business leaders needed the answers to in order to make the most of the available money coming in and other opportunities that they may not have known about otherwise.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 — the formal name for the economic stimulus package released by President Barack Obama — will help provide businesses a jump-start to help them become more productive. Several speakers on hand helped provide our business leaders with information that will help them take the most advantage of the package.

Sponsored by U.S. Rep. Artur Davis and the University of West Alabama Small Business Development Center, the seminar featured speakers like Dr. Samuel N. Addy of the University of Alabama, L.D. Ralph from the Small Business Administration and Bill Johnson of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

In the afternoon portion of the seminar, business leaders were able to take part in small workshops and a networking exposition to help them attain business contacts and make new business friends.

The seminar was attended by State Rep. AJ McCampbell and State Sen. Bobby Singleton, as well as Demopolis mayor Mike Grayson and Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce president Kelley Smith.

The seminar’s intent was laudable, and the idea’s execution was excellent. Knowledge is power, and information is the key. With the information that our region’s small business leaders obtained on Friday, they should no longer feel like they are sitting and waiting on the sideline with regards to the stimulus funding; they are now a part of the big game.