Latest Business Blog News

SBDC Offers GrowSmart Class for Business

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

The Clayton State University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is bringing the GrowSmart program to business owners for the third time.  Whether in business for two years or twenty years, many small business owners are so busy working IN the business, they neglect working ON it.  If your business is growing or ready for growth, SBDC GrowSmart gives you the steps, tools and strategies to get there.

GrowSmart was developed by the Georgia SBDC Network to meet the needs of growing businesses. Combining the latest ideas with timeless business principles, GrowSmart will propel your business forward!  The Georgia SBDC Network has provided management training to thousands of experienced business owners using FastTrac and other powerful, innovative programs.

This program, provided in partnership between Clayton State SBDC, Georgia State SBDC and UGA-Dekalb SBDC,  will be held at the Georgia Power Company, 241 Ralph McGill Blvd., Atlanta.  The program fee of $895 per person includes weekly networking breakfast and lunches and course material (partial scholarships available).  Program runs September 19-October 17.
For more information or to apply, click HERE   or contact Heather Chaney at 678-466-5100 or

Free Chick-fil-A Speaker Series Features William Pate

Monday, July 21st, 2014

In the spirit of fostering community and leadership, the Chick-fil-A Foundation sponsors a recurring Community Leadership Speaker Series. Throughout the year, the Chick-fil-A Foundation will bring nationally known speakers to discuss issues facing the community, education and today’s youth.

On August 8th the speaker will be William Pate, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Atlanta tourism industry is responsible for 42 million visitors per year, over 220,000 jobs and $12 billion in visitor spending.  Mr. Pate is a board member of many organizations including, Atlanta Sports Council, Children’s Healthcare of Georgia, College Football Hall Of Fame, Commerce Club, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Chick-fil-A Bowl, Carter Presidential Center and the Woodruff Arts Center.WTF-CFA_SpeakerPlaybill_WilliamPate_v4_LQ

Share in a conversation with Mr. Pate about the importance of community involvement and leadership as philanthropy.

In addition you can sign up to  experience a FREE Chick-fil-A Home Office Backstage Tour, a guided walking tour featuring the story of Chick-fil-A Founder, Truett Cathy. You will also get a behind-the-scenes look at Chick-fil-A’s food, engage in fun interactions with the Chick-fil-A Cows and get a chance to visit our gift shop to commemorate your experience.

Visit the Chick-fil-A foundation website to register.

August 8th at 8:30 a.m. for breakfast and conversation.
5200 Buffington Rd




UGA Griffin offers Winery Startup 101 Learn Everything “From Paperwork to Pouring”

Friday, July 18th, 2014
9:00 am

Winery Startup 101 Pub 2014Ready to start your own winery.  This workshop will teach you all you need to know to get started living your dream.

Winery Start-up 101

“From Paperwork to Pouring”

July 26th, 2014 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

University of Georgia-Griffin Campus

$50 registration fee includes lunch   To register go to

Some Topics to Be Covered
Thomas Payette – Winery Startup Consultant
What wine styles to be made (dry, sweet, etc.) also if mostly reds or whites. What kinds of wine to be made: bunch grapes, fruits or muscadine. All three determine what wine making equipment is needed.

  • Have a business plan – Know who and where you market will be.
  • Start small but build for easy expansion
  • Basic equipment needed for startup.
  • Building plans – accessibility
  • Plan space for events: indoors and out (weddings, festivals, wine dinners and private tasting events).
  • Other Speakers and Topics


Piedmont Brings Trusted Expertise of MD Anderson Cancer Network® to Georgia

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Atlanta, Ga. (July 11, 2014) – Piedmont is the only health system in Georgia to become an affiliate of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

“Our affiliation with MD Anderson Cancer Network ensures our patients receive cancer care based on best practices developed by one of America’s leading cancer care providers,” said Kevin Brown, chief executive officer of Piedmont Healthcare. “While excellent care has always been provided at Piedmont, this collaboration takes our quality assurances to a new level.”

For 10 of the past 12 years, including 2013, MD Anderson has ranked number one in cancer care in the “Best Hospitals” survey published by U.S. News & World Report.

“MD Anderson Cancer Network was created to advance our mission of eliminating cancer by sharing our knowledge and extending our multidisciplinary care,” said Thomas Burke, M.D., executive vice president, MD Anderson Cancer Network.  “Piedmont is a respected organization with a long history of providing high quality, patient-centered care. Our new affiliation builds on Piedmont’s strengths by adding MD Anderson’s cancer expertise, and we’re confident it will raise the bar even higher for cancer care in Georgia.”

Piedmont is dedicated to providing excellent cancer care from detection, diagnosis and research to treatment, education, and support. Piedmont works to ease the struggles often associated with the cancer journey by providing patient navigators, financial counselors and free supportive therapies in Atlanta, Fayetteville, Newnan and Stockbridge. It is Piedmont’s dedication to Georgia residents affected by cancer that led the organization to raise its degree of collaboration in managing patient care with MD Anderson experts and become certified by MD Anderson Cancer Network. Currently, there are only 12 others in the nation.

MD Anderson’s best practices and protocols will be implemented at Piedmont Atlanta and Piedmont Fayette hospitals. In the future, Piedmont Henry and Piedmont Newnan hospitals are expected to become MD Anderson Cancer Network certified members as well.

“By teaming up, we’re combining the best of what we provide locally with the world-renown expertise of MD Anderson,” said oncologist Perry Ballard, M.D.  “This collaboration provides those Piedmont physicians also certified by MD Anderson Cancer Network with access to evidence-based, disease-specific guidelines for cancer treatment, prevention, early detection and follow-up care developed by a national leader in cancer care.”


About Piedmont Cancer

At Piedmont, we treat the patient – not just the disease. Piedmont’s interdisciplinary approach involves a team of cancer specialists including board-certified oncologists, a dedicated oncology nursing unit, surgeons, accredited technicians and nutritionists. These specialists collaborate to create a personal treatment plan based on each patient’s unique situation. Offering the newest diagnostic testing, groundbreaking therapies and surgeries, proven medical and radiation oncology, and effective pain management, Piedmont Cancer also provides specially–trained oncology nurse navigators to help guide patients through their cancer journey. Because cancer treatment involves more than medical care, free services and programs such as yoga, cooking demos, expressive art classes and counseling are also available to anyone affected by cancer at any phase in his or her journey through Cancer Wellness at Piedmont. For more information, visit

About MD Anderson Cancer Network

MD Anderson Cancer Network® is a program of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. It’s designed to advance the institution’s mission of eliminating cancer by deliveringMD Anderson expertise to community health providers. The network includes mission-aligned hospitals and health care systems across the United States committed to elevating the quality of care in their communities. Hospitals have direct access to MD Anderson clinical guidelines and best practices through membership in MD Anderson Cancer Network.

Boost Your Business with CSU Summer Classes

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Clayton State University’s Small Business Development Center offers three classes this summer to help boost your business. Back by popular demand is  “Why Video Is The Ultimate Tool for Your Business” class taught by our video guru, Alisa Kirk on July 24th.  CSU is offering our first “QuickBooks: Step by Step” class taught on August 1st, by Robert Andoh, Certified QuickBooks Instructor and SBDC Consultant. Followed by our “Writing a Living Business Plan” class for people wanting to write or update their current plan; class taught by Judiffier Pearson on September 25th.

For more information and registration Click Here.

Comcast Unveils Easier & More Secure WiFi for Small Business

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014


New business wireless gateway from Comcast Business allows for separate private and public Wi-Fi signals through one integrated modem. This device makes Wi-Fi simple and cost-effective for entrepreneurs and their clientele.

June 3, 2014– Comcast Business  launched the nation’s first wireless gateway service built specifically for a commercial environment with an integrated modem equipped to produce dual-band Wi-Fi signals. The Business Wireless Gateway allows entrepreneurs to assign one private wireless signal for their back-office needs and a separate public signal (Xfinity WiFi) for customers or visitors, creating a simple and secure solution for businesses of all kinds that want to take advantage of the many benefits of Wi-Fi.

This device and Business WiFi service are included with most Comcast Business Internet plans, and Comcast Business supports the device and provides customer service 24/7.

“We are making the Business Wireless Gateway available nationwide because research has proven time and again that Wi-Fi is a game changer for brick and mortar based small businesses,” said John Guillaume, vice president of Product Development, Comcast Business. “Many different types of customers – coffee shops, law firms, real estate offices, gyms, libraries and more – want to attract and retain visitors to their location and give employees the tools they need to be more productive. Wi-Fi can be critical on both fronts, and this device can help make that easy to manage.”

A recent survey of “Main Street” small business owners by Bredin Research indicated that some small business owners who don’t offer public Wi-Fi to their patrons have concerns about technical support, cost and customer misuse. Developed by Cisco, Comcast’s new Business Wireless Gateway addresses each of these concerns and more:

Private Wi-Fi

  • Fast – more than enough Wi-Fi speed to handle the demands and multiple devices of today’s modern businesses.
  • Private – a network that is separate and distinct from the public Wi-Fi, so the business is not impacted by activity by patrons.
  • Cost Effective – included with most Comcast Business Internet tiers.
  • Helps Productivity – through an expanded Internet experience for employees, who can connect wirelessly and quickly to the internal network, cloud applications and shared devices like printers.
  • BYOD – the rising popularity of bring your own device (BYOD) policies further enhances the appeal of Wi-Fi in the business setting, as employees increasingly want to use their own devices for work.

Public Wi-Fi

  • Speed – according to third party analysis, Xfinity WiFi is the fastest Wi-Fi in the nation.
  • Happy Customers – ensure visitors’ Wi-Fi experience is positive, which can lead to repeat visits, customer loyalty and new business.
  • Become a Destination – be a part of the largest public Wi-Fi network in the country and listed on an interactive Wi-Fi locator map – available through the Xfinity WiFi app and online.
  • Easy Installation – no additional equipment or routers required for public Wi-Fi; the public and private Wi-Fi networks, available through one device, are set up by Comcast Business technicians.
  • Increased mobility – Businesses will receive two logins to access millions of Xfinity WiFi hotspots for business or personal purposes while on the go.

“Today’s ‘main street’ small businesses want to offer Wi-Fi to their customers to get them in the store and keep them coming back, but concerns can arise from over security and how challenging it will be to set up and maintain a Wi-Fi network,” said Matt Davis, director of Consumer and Small Business Telecom Services at IDC. “The Business Wireless Gateway from Comcast Business gives SMBs a single box solution to quickly set up both public and private Wi-Fi, with public access being managed and maintained over the Comcast network. This can alleviate security concerns because customers are not accessing the same Wi-Fi network that your employees are.”

For more about Wi-Fi use in small businesses on social media, follow #SMBWiFi.

About Comcast Business

Comcast Business, a unit of Comcast Cable, provides advanced communication solutions to help organizations of all sizes meet their business objectives. Through a next-generation network that is backed by 24/7 technical support, Comcast delivers Business Internet, Ethernet, TV and a full portfolio of Voice services for cost-effective, simplified communications management.

For more information, call 866-429-3085.

GDEcD’ offers many 
International Trade Opportunities

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) invites Georgia companies and organizations to participate in many international trade opportunities.  Trade missions to Germany, Columbia, China and Canada are just a few of the opportunities you will find.    For a full list of opportunities, please click here.

Showcase Your Business at FCBOE EdCamp on July 23

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

EdCamps are free conferences that allow teachers to present their greatest technology embedded lessons and ideas to other teachers.  Hailed as an “unconference,” these day-long events allow educations to come together in a conference-like setting, but they have the freedom to present and discuss without the formality or expense of a traditional conference.

On Wednesday, July 23, 2014, the Instructional Technology Deparment of the Fayette County School System is hosting EdCamp Fayette for all interested educators in the area.  The best practices and lessons shared at EdCamp Fayette will begin to transform classrooms to truly embed 21st Century Skills into teaching and learning.

Because the conference is free to participants, the school system is reaching out to local businesses to help support this important endeavor.  Teacher attendance is estimated to be between 100 and 200 participants.

The Instructional Tech Department is seeking sponsorships and donations for door prizes and/or gift cards to award to teachers throughout the day.  This is a valuable opportunity to gain visibility for your business in this large group gathering of FCBOE faculty, staff and administration.  Businesses who donate will receive additional advertising at the conference in the following ways:

  • Business name listed on the EdCamp Fayette mobile app
  • Business logo and information continuously scrolling on the big screen in the common areas
  • Business name listed on signage at registration tables
  • Opportunity for sponsor table to distribute flyers, business cards or other types of advertisement* (*at certain sponsor levels)

Contact to donate or get more information.

State Worker’s Compensation Regional Education Series

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

This Regional Seminar was presented at six locations throughout Georgia and we are on our last Seminar which will be next Wednesday morning in the Clayton County Performing Arts Center.  The Honorable Judge Frank McKay, Chairman of the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation, along with Executive Director Delece Brooks, and Board Directors, Judge Elizabeth  Gobeil and Judge Hal Dawkins, will visit various cities throughout Georgia as part of the 2014 regional educational series on workers’ compensation.  The Board, under their leadership, will be conducting six seminars throughout Georgia in 2014 to educate those who work within Georgia’s workers’ compensation system or those who want to learn more about the workers’ compensation system. This educational training program will provide valuable information for employers and self-insured employers, human resource and risk managers, claims adjusters, rehabilitation specialists, medical service providers and workers’ compensation attorneys, paralegals and any and all system participants.

The program will include information regarding new developments at the State Board, legislative and case law developments, and updates on Board Rules.   The seminar will include a Judge’s perspective on witnesses testifying in court, an interactive session to include discussions on Posted Panels, Return to Light Duty Work, Settlements, Drug and Alcohol Testing and more!    As well, a panel of workers’ compensation attorneys will provide tips on managing claims involving FMLA, SSD, retirement and the aging work force.  Finally, the seminar will feature a lively audience participation session called the “People’s Court” where various workers’ compensation issues will be presented and the audience will have the chance to “Be the Judge!”   To close the seminar, there will be a question and answer session.

An application has been submitted to the Georgia Nurses Association for approval of (3.4) contact hours. Please call Hilary Williams at the State Board of Workers’ Compensation for more information.

In addition, applications have been submitted for approval for the following professions: Legal (CLE); CCM / CDMS / CRC; Insurance Agents/Adjusters (GA License Number Only); and Human Resource (HRCI).



Entrepreneurs Say Wi-Fi Is Better Than Chocolate!

Friday, May 16th, 2014


Wireless Internet access better at keeping “Main Street” business patrons happier than freebies like candy, water or magazines

 Wi-Fi attracts customers and enhances customer satisfaction

ATLANTA, Ga., May 13, 2014 – A national survey of entrepreneurs and small business IT decision makers conducted by Bredin Research and sponsored by Comcast Business found that offering free Wi-Fi works better at keeping customers happy than common “waiting area” conveniences like candy, water or magazines. These “Main Street” businesses that offer Wi-Fi — coffee shops, bars, restaurants, retailers, doctor’s offices and others — are leveraging the service to attract new clientele, improve customer loyalty and raise their profile within the community.

Respondents who indicated that they do not currently offer Wi-Fi also understand the benefits of offering the service in their location, and overwhelmingly their intention is to offer it in the near future. Those that do not plan on offering it – predominantly those that have been in business for 20 or more years – cite concerns over tech support, employee distraction and cost.

“Main Street businesses and entrepreneurs of all types recognize that wireless Internet access is a must for their patrons, and that providing free Wi-Fi can give them a competitive edge,” said Bill Stemper, president, Comcast Business. “More and more, we are seeing that if a business provides Wi-Fi now to its employees for business purposes, extending access to its customers is a logical next step that is a way to keep them coming back in the future. Given the challenges that small businesses face in today’s uncertain economy, we are encouraged that technologies like Wi-Fi will help sustain growth.”

The key survey findings are:

  • Wi-Fi helps draw customers. Nearly eight in 10 U.S. businesses offering Wi-Fi (79%) say it has raised customer satisfaction, and 67% report it has encouraged repeat business. In Atlanta, Wi-Fi has been particularly important for improving service, with 94% of business owners saying it has enhanced the customer experience.
  • Providing access a competitive necessity. The majority of business owners recognize the importance of Wi-Fi to staying competitive, with three-quarters calling it “a necessity.” Atlanta business owners were particularly inclined to see these advantages — 83% say offering Wi-Fi has helped them keep up with competitors.
  • Wi-Fi is better than chocolate. The majority of business owners nationally said Wi-Fi is as or more effective than other amenities at making patrons feel welcome. Atlanta respondents agreed, calling Wi-Fi as or more effective than magazines (100%), water (92%) and candy (84%).
  • Promoting Wi-Fi pays off. Like their counterparts elsewhere in the U.S., more than six in 10 (64%) of Atlanta business owners that offer Wi-Fi actively promote it. This promotion works: 87% of Atlanta respondents say customers come in looking for Wi-Fi. Nearly the same number (86%) say they have received new customers through patrons using their Wi-Fi to promote their business.
  • Business users boost productivity. 86% of Atlanta respondentssay that separate from offering Wi-Fi to patrons, their company uses Wi-Fi for business purposes (compared with 74% of respondents nationwide). Top purposes among Atlanta businesses include accessing corporate resources (52%), enabling mobile sales transactions (48%) and tracking inventory (45%). 84% of these businesses report that Wi-Fi enhances productivity.
  • Businesses connect a range of devices. Atlanta businesses that use Wi-Fi for business purposes connect equipment to their networks including computers (100%) and printers and copiers (71%). Compared with their counterparts throughout the U.S., Atlanta respondents were more likely to connect tablets (61% vs. 50%) and credit card terminals (45% vs. 33%).

The Small Business Wi-Fi Survey was conducted online among a representative sample of 602 principals and IT decision makers at companies with 1 to 100 employees in the United States between Dec. 18 and Dec. 31, 2013. The survey has a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points at the 95% level of confidence.

About Comcast Cable

Comcast Cable is the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to businesses and residential customers. Comcast has invested in technology to build an advanced network that delivers among the fastest broadband speeds, and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings. Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company. Visit for more information.

 About Comcast Business

Comcast Business, a unit of Comcast Cable, provides advanced communication solutions to help organizations of all sizes meet their business objectives. Through a next-generation network that is backed by 24/7 technical support, Comcast delivers Business Internet, Ethernet, TV and a full portfolio of Voice services for cost-effective, simplified communications management.

For more information, call 866-429-3085.

Follow us on Twitter @ComcastBusiness and on other social media networks at

 About Bredin

Bredin is a market research firm and consultancy which helps clients better understand and engage with small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). Bredin provides market insight through original research, develops marketing strategy and executes acquisition and retention programs to help clients develop profitable, long-term relationships with SMBs. Learn more at

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