Small Business News

Small Business outreach in 2013
Published: Thursday, April 17, 2014 12:30 pm
By: Shaun Sappenfield

The Chamber’s BEST (Business Entrepreneur Support Team) Committee addresses issues relevant to the professional, technical and small business communities by conducting seminars regarding workforce and training needs on an ongoing basis.  In addition, the Chamber continues working to foster a greater entrepreneurial spirit by providing potential business start-ups with educational resources, mentoring and networking opportunities. 

The Chamber’s Tuesday Topic series offered Chamber members six separate technical programs in 2013:

  • Social Media 101
  • Social Media 201
  • The Affordable Health Care Act – What it Means for Missouri
  • Financial Statements 101
  • Finding the Wow Factor in Customer Service
  • Warning – End of Life for XP

Matt Cowell, Ascend Business Strategies, recently presented his "Working Happy" seminar as part of the Tuesday Topic Series. 

Each fall, the Chamber partners with the University of Missouri Extension & MO Small Business and Technology Development Center to offer a Small Business Academy training course.  Chris Thompson, Business Development Specialist with the Cole County Extension Office, provides participants with 32 hours of curriculum in ten focus areas and offers participants a learning opportunity that includes coaching, group discussion and activities and peer-to-peer learning.

The graduating class included:

·         Jeff Moad, M & W Hauling
      Cheryl Fletcher, Summit Mechanical, Inc.
      Danielle Schwartze, Speak-Easy, LLC
      Frances Vadner, Riversong Spa & Salon
      Brandon Korsmeyer, Korsmeyer Fire Protection 

For the second year, StartUp Jefferson City has provided would-be entrepreneurs an opportunity to connect, learn and share their startup ideas during three separate events in 2013 – Motivational Meetup, Fast Pitch Event and Pitch It & Win It.  Each event provided a unique opportunity for individuals with similar interests to gain valuable knowledge from business professionals coupled with the prospect of winning startup funding for their business.  StartUp Jefferson City gained a valuable partner in 2013.  Rural Missouri Inc., a Certified Development Company (CDC) which provides SBA loans, signed on as the main sponsor of the Pitch It & Win It contest and contributed $6,000 in prize money which was divided equally between three deserving startup businesses.    

Pitch It & Win It contest winners:

·         Black Market Burger Co. (Kasey Green)

·         Duell Baren Bakery & Deli ( Ryan Cornell)

·         Speak Easy Lounge (Brett Welschmeyer & Kyle Loethen)  

Supporting small business and encouraging new startups is vital to our local economy.  As in most communities, small businesses are the underpinnings that provide for a stable economy, and Jefferson City is blessed with a plethora of these businesses.  To learn more about the Chamber’s Business Entrepreneur Support Team, please contact Shaun Sappenfield, Existing Business Manager at 573-638-3586 or

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