Jeff Chamber, SCORE assist area businesses


by BRIAN NADIG

The Jefferson Park Chamber of Commerce and SCORE Chicago are working to provide free consultation to new and existing businesses.

"We are now a neighborhood small-business development center," chamber executive director Anne Kamykowski said at the group’s March 13 meeting.

The city Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection has changed the expectations which it has for business organizations that it oversees. Many chambers of commerce receive about $35,000 a year in city funding.

Representatives of SCORE, which previously was known as the Service Corps of Retired Executives, will be made available once a month at the chamber office, 5214 W. Lawrence Ave., to meet business owners and those looking to start a new business. The program will begin on April 8, and it will be available only by appointment.

Kamykowski said that the program is designed to help business owners create a plan for success. She said that individuals who are considering leasing a storefront in Jefferson Park often contact the chamber and that some have inquired about how they can develop a business plan.

"Everything a SCORE person discusses with you is kept confidential, and they are there to help you any way they can to help your business grow," SCORE representative Aaron Lebedow told the chamber. "They are not going to let go until you grow."

The nonprofit organization, which was founded 50 years ago, has chapters throughout the country and is a resource partner of the Small Business Administration. SCORE volunteers include executives, industry experts and entrepreneurs from a variety of businesses, Lebedow said.

Lebedow said that SCORE also offers workshops on topics such as how to brand a business through social media and how to obtain financing. More information is available at www.scorechicago.org.

Those interested in the program are asked to call Kamykowski at 773-736-6697. She said that three appointments will be available each month.


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