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mike

Myrtle Creek offers free business improvement plan

by mike

The News Review – www.nrtoday.com

Thursday, October 2, 2008
by
Cara Pallone

The city of Myrtle Creek received funding in June from the Department of Agriculture to support a local business improvement plan. The $5,000 grant will be used to provide up to 50 small-business owners within the city limits a free business plan software package from Palo Alto Software, a company headquartered in Eugene. The package will assist in planning for market fluctuations, risk assessment, financing and growth fundamentals such as target marketing and competitor analysis. Each package is valued at $100. In addition, business communities countywide will be invited to attend a seminar in October with Palo Alto founder Tim Berry.

 

MYRTLE CREEK — As with any small business, the owners of The Happy Donut aim for minimal waste.

Even so, the amount of doughnuts left over after the morning rush is never predictable.

The little shop hasn’t been open quite a full year and co-owner Paulette Jones said her family’s business is a first endeavor. They aren’t certain what prompts a person to buy a doughnut on any given day, but she knows that her husband, Brian Jones, toils through the night so the breakfast pastries are fresh and piled high in the morning.

“It’s a long process to make doughnuts, and being a small business, we don’t want to put a lot into waste,” Jones said. “If we could get a better idea of the times of the week that people are going to come in — maybe it’s payday or maybe wintertime is better.”

Jones and her family might soon have answers.

The city of Myrtle Creek received funding in June from the Department of Agriculture to support a local business improvement plan. The $5,000 grant will be used to provide up to 50 small-business owners within the city limits a free business plan software package from Palo Alto Software, a company headquartered in Eugene. The package will assist in planning for market fluctuations, risk assessment, financing and growth fundamentals such as target marketing and competitor analysis. Each package is valued at $100. In addition, business communities countywide will be invited to attend a seminar in October with Palo Alto founder Tim Berry.

“One of the key factors to economic development in small cities is business development and growth,” said City Administrator Aaron Cubic. “The idea is to provide this business software as a tool for local businesses to retain employees and grow. There’s a lot of small businesses out there that don’t have a business plan.”

According to the company’s chief executive officer, Sabrina Parsons, the software is a “knowledge tool,” offering as much or as little help as business owners desire. The program is a step-by-step guide with samples of 500 business plans.

Any non-franchise business located within the city of Myrtle Creek with no more than 50 employees is eligible to apply for the business improvement plan. Cubic said about four businesses have applied so far, including The Happy Donut.

“This is important for all the small businesses in the area,” said Jones. “There is such an economic struggle right now to be in business and stay in business… for anybody.”

• You can reach reporter Cara Pallone at 957-4208 or by e-mail at cpallone @ nrtoday.com.