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2016 Southwest Georgia Bank Business Plan Competition is in full swing, applicants welcome

Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce
Contact:  Cachet Prescott, cprescott@valdostachamber.com 

VALDOSTA – The Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber is calling all qualified small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to apply for the 2016 Southwest Georgia Bank Business Plan Competition. The annual competition awards one lucky winner with $10,000 in start-up capital for their business, along with thousands of dollars of in-kind services from Chamber member businesses. If you are a new, independent, for-profit venture in the seed or start-up stages located in Lowndes County, here are a few reasons to enter:

Set Your Business Up for Success. Though many entrepreneurs understand the importance of having a business plan, few take the time to actually write one. Keep in mind that this is a living document that serves as the blueprint for your entrepreneurial venture. The writing process forces you to answer the hard questions, helps keep you on task, and gives you much needed clarity and insight for the future.

“One of the most valuable results of the business plan competition is having the actual business plan document itself in your hands,” said 2015 winner Elton Dixon of Enay Coaching. “The Business Plan Competition gives an opportunity to not only get your vision on paper, but have it thoroughly vetted by other professionals who want to help you move forward.”

Sharpen Your Skills. As a competition finalist, you’re required to give an oral presentation on your business plan to the selection committee. Take advantage of this amazing opportunity to hone and perfect your public speaking, presentation and business pitch skills and set yourself up for success in the business world.

Broaden Your Network. As a contestant, you’ll gain invaluable exposure to some of the top business minds and resources in the area. These individuals will also be able to familiarize themselves with you and your business and can offer solid feedback to put into action and supercharge your business development efforts.

Get Noticed. The Southwest Georgia Bank Business Plan Competition is well known in Lowndes County, and your association with it provides unmatched exposure for your business. Your involvement gives you the chance to show the community who you are and what your business has to offer.

And of course…The Money (and in-kind services). Simply entering the competition puts your business is in the running for $10,000 in start-up capital from Southwest Georgia Bank plus other in-kind donations from other generous angel investors. “The in-kind sponsorships were great … The sponsors have become great friends and resources,” 2011 winner Curt Fowler of Fowler & Company said. “However, I always tell people that competition would have been well worth the effort even if I had not won.”

Ready to jump in? The June 15th deadline is right around the corner so don’t miss your chance to compete. The application is available on the SEEDS Business Resource Center website at http://seedsbusinessresourcecenter.com.

For more information, contact Cachet Prescott, Director of Business Development at 229-247-8100, ext. 234 or cprescott@valdostachamber.com.

Photo Cutline: Southwest Georgia Bank’s Jud Moritz (right) poses for a photo alongside the 2015 Southwest Georgia Bank Business Plan Competition winner, Elton Dixon, of Enay Coaching (left). Dixon received $10,000 in start-up capital and thousands of dollars of in-kind services as the competition’s 2015 winner. Deadline to register for the 2016 competition is June 15.

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The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce is a private, not-for-profit membership organization that serves as the voice of business in Lowndes County. The chamber advocates for more than 1300 area businesses led by a dedicated volunteer board of directors. The chamber has been Five-Star Accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce since 2008.

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