NORWALK, Conn. — Entrepreneurs in the Norwalk area now have a new resource to turn to for advice on how to start or grow their small businesses.
An office of the CT Small Business Development Center is open in Room 100 of Norwalk City Hall. Stamford resident Tony Peters, an experienced entrepreneur, will staff the center on Thursdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., officials announced Tuesday morning.
“There are a lot of very exciting things going on in Norwalk,” Peters said. “I’m delighted to be here.”
The center provides free “soup-to-nuts” counseling to entrepreneurs and access to several programs to help entrepreneurs plan their businesses. One service called Live Plan offers 100s of business plans.
“Whatever you want to do — whatever you think you want to do — there is likely a business plan you can use as a template (on Live Plan),” Peters said.
Another service entrepreneurs can access through the center is Test My Pitch. It ensures that entrepreneurs have a half-dozen key elements in their business plans before presenting it to investors.
“It’s a modified ‘Shark Tank’ so to speak,” Peters said, referencing the popular show in which entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of high-profile investors, including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
And, of course, the center offers the advice of Peters, whose career has taken him from banks to Wall Street to starting his own golf apparel company.
Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, who attended the announcement, said small businesses are an “economic driver in the community.”
“When they’re successful, we’re all successful,” Rilling said.
Norwalk is a friendly community to small businesses, he said. Many have opened in recent months, including Sedona Taphouse and Game Haven.
Clients can connect with the center by calling its toll free number, registering on its website, e-mailing Peters or simply walking in to city hall during office hours. The service is available to all businesses in the area — not just ones located in Norwalk.
For more information on the CT Small Business Development Center, visit its website here.
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