Latest Business Blog News

International Buyers Seeking GA Suppliers – Register for Appointment

Friday, April 18th, 2014

International Buyers Seeking Georgia Suppliers
Atlanta and Savannah, GA  May 12-15, 2014

International buyers/distributors/representatives from Japan, Canada, Brazil, Israel, and China are traveling to Atlanta (May 12-13) and Savannah (May 14-15) to identify new suppliers.

Georgia Reaching Out Worldwide (G.R.O.W.) is organized by the Georgia Department of Economic Development.  Although there is no fee to participate, event registration is required.  Please note that not all who register will receive appointments.

Questions:  contact Ms. Taube Ponce at

Final 2014 GROW Flyer


Piedmont Healthcare Receives Cancer Accreditation

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Piedmont Cancer recently became part of a select group of cancer networks in the United States to be accredited by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS). As part of the network, Piedmont Atlanta and Piedmont Fayette hospitals have been granted a Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation.

To earn voluntary CoC accreditation, cancer programs must meet or exceed 34 CoC quality care standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process, and maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered care. Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation is only awarded to facilities that exceed standard requirements at the time of its triennial survey.

“We take a very unique approach to treating cancer,” said John Goodman, executive director of oncology services at Piedmont Healthcare. “Collaboration among multidisciplinary specialists is key to helping our patients achieve the best possible outcomes. Our patients can rest assured knowing they’re in the best hands.”

When patients receive care at a CoC facility like Piedmont, they also have access to information on clinical trials and new treatments, genetic counseling, and patient centered services including psycho-social support, a patient navigation process, and a survivorship care plan that documents the care each patient receives and seeks to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life.

“For years, we have recognized the power of treating the whole patient, going beyond medicine and supporting the patient’s emotional and psychological well-being,” said Goodman. “With the creation of Thomas F. Chapman Family Cancer Wellness at Piedmont, we were able to offer cancer patients, survivors and even caregivers free services and programs like counseling, yoga, expressive arts classes, cooking demonstrations and more.”

Like all CoC-accredited facilities, Piedmont maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), a joint program of the CoC and American Cancer Society. This nationwide oncology outcomes database is the largest clinical disease registry in the world. Data on all types of cancer are tracked and analyzed through the NCDB and used to explore trends in cancer care.

Currently, there are more than 1,500 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the United States and Puerto Rico, less than five percent of which are network programs. The CoC provides the public with information on the resources, services, and cancer treatment experience for each CoC-accredited cancer program through the CoC Hospital Locator at


 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 the Commission on Cancer

Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving patient outcomes and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive, quality care.  Its membership includes Fellows of the American College of Surgeons.  For more information, visit:

Small Business Financing Forum – FREE WORKSHOP!

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Small businesses often need working capital to conduct day-to-day business operations while starting and growing their business. This program discusses the options small businesses can use to finance these operations.

Maintaining financial viability is essential for anyone wanting to expand their business operations or to start a business.

Join us for this free workshop to explore financing programs and sources to grow your business.

Monday, April 21, 10 a.m. -noon
Clayton State University-East Campus Auditorium
5823 Trammell Road, Morrow

Fred Crispen, Celtic Bank


Brought to you by SBDC and Clayton State University

SBDC April/May Lunch & Learn Series

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Take advantage of the SBDC lunch and learn series on the latest social media marketing strategies for your small business.   REGISTRATION & MORE INFORMATION

All three lunch & learns will be held at the Georgia Archives, 5800 Jonesboro Road, Morrow.  Contact Heather Chaney at 678-466-5100 with any dietary restrictions.

Speaker Maggie Laton of Maggie Laton Marketing will teach you the latest tips and tricks from blogging, facebook, & LinkedIn.  CSU SBDC Consultant Alisa Kirk will teach you how to incorporate video into your marketing:

Why Blogging Should be Part of Your Marketing Plan

 Friday, April 18    11am – 1pm     $40

 Blogging is one of the best ways to ensure that your website is more than an online brochure. By creating content that showcases your business, expertise and knowledge, you are providing prospects with the information they need to decide that doing business with you is a great idea. Blogging also creates a changing website, which search engines like and will reward you for with higher rankings.

* The reasons your business needs a blog
* How to plan for the launch of your blog
* Setting goals for your blog
* Creating a content calendar
* Integrating your blog and social media for maximum exposure
* Tips for writing for your ideal client


Creating a Plan for Business Success on Facebook

 Friday, April 25      11am – 1pm     $40

Your customers are on facebook, are you?

Like any marketing tool, social media requires you to create a plan and set goals. This course will explain the importance of a facebook page for your small business and how to reach your customers.

* The difference between profiles and pages, and why you want a page
* How social proof on Facebook generates sales
* How social equity makes your clients more likely to buy
* Facebook is a tool in your marketing toolbox; not the whole toolbox
* What is Edgerank and how can you use it to reach your customers?
* 5 Categories of content you need to produce
* 5 Strategies for using photos to generate engagement

Why LinkedIn Is So Much More Than an Online Resume

 Friday, May 2      11am – 1pm     $40

 Your customers are on LinkedIn, are you?

“LinkedIn is the social media platform that everyone is on, but no one is using.” This description is becoming less and less accurate, but the truth remains. Too few professionals are using LinkedIn to build their networks and position themselves as experts in their fields. The ones who do, however, are realizing great gains.

* How to create a profile that gets results
* Recommendations and endorsements – Give to get
* How to reach 500 connections, and why it’s important
* Sharing information to increase your visibility
* Groups and how participation makes you the expert
* LinkedIn company pages that work
* How using LinkedIn well can make you money
* Creating an action plan for improving your activity on LinkedIn


Why Video is the Ultimate Tool for Your Business

 Wednesday, May 7      11am – 1pm     $40

 If a picture’s worth a thousand words, what is a video worth to your business?

Used effectively, video can enhance your brand, marketing, and client satisfaction. It can educate, entertain, and energize customers, but only when it’s relevant.

This informative workshop will show you how, where, and when video should be used in your business. You will learn from start to finish how to create a video and incorporate it in a marketing/outreach strategy through effective SEO.

We will also give you information on the latest software and equipment, along with hints for filming to the best advantage.


Comcast to Power Wide Area Network for Jim Ellis Automotive Group

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Comcast Business today announced that Jim Ellis Automotive Group, Atlanta’s largest family owned and operated automotive group, has deployed Comcast’s Ethernet services to connect all of its dealerships on one wide area network. The fiber-based network provides the #3 dealer in the U.S. in Internet sales volume, with the scalable bandwidth needed to support online sales and customer service, business applications hosted in its private cloud and Wi-Fi for on-site customers.

Starting as a single dealership more than 40 years ago, Jim Ellis Automotive Group has grown to a network of 14 dealerships that employs over 900 local residents at locations across metro Atlanta including Marietta, Kennesaw and Buford. The company sells new and used vehicles including brands such as Audi, Buick, Chevy, GMC, Hyundai, Maserati, Mazda, Porsche, Volvo and Volkswagen. In addition, the company services all the brands it sells and has a collision center that is manufacturer-certified to perform repairs on any of its brands.

Jim Ellis Automotive Group’s locations were once linked by T1 connections that were costly and complex to manage across various providers, and increasingly too slow to support its digital business requirements. In addition to needing faster Internet speeds to support online sales and Wi-Fi for customers, the company also began using a new, bandwidth-intensive Dealership Management System (DMS) to help manage finance, sales, parts, inventory and administration across its dealerships. To bring more convenience to its customers’ mobile lifestyles, the company also developed the Jim Ellis Garage App for iOS and Android that gives customers local traffic, weather, access to owner’s manuals and the ability to schedule service appointments.

“Whether it is allowing customers to view our available inventory, purchase a car online, schedule service appointments or take advantage of our Wi-Fi service, the Internet drives virtually all aspects of our business,” said Eddie Gonzalez, IT Systems Director, Jim Ellis Automotive Group. “Comcast Business was uniquely able to provide a comprehensive network solution that touches every part of our organization across all of our locations, and gives us the performance and bandwidth required to support our digital initiatives.”

To address Jim Ellis Automotive Group’s need, Comcast installed its Ethernet Network Services to provide wide area connectivity between the company’s 14 locations, including 50 Megabits per second (Mbps) connections to its main campuses in Marietta and Chamblee, and 10 Mbps connections to its 12 other locations. The group also added two Ethernet Dedicated Internet lines at its Marietta and Chamblee campuses that provide each with a 50 Mbps connection.  With this network solution from Comcast Business, Jim Ellis Automotive Group can now contact one vendor for fast response time and simplified billing.

“Jim Ellis Automotive Group is a great example of a forward-thinking company that is leveraging technology across its operations to make an impact on the most important part of its business – customer satisfaction,” said Bob Deckard, regional vice president, Comcast Business. “With our advanced and redundant fiber network across metro Atlanta, it was easy for Jim Ellis Automotive Group to connect all of its sites using our high-performance Ethernet services, giving them a consistent platform to help drive their diverse technology initiatives.”

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 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.

Job Fair Hosted by Congressman David Scott

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Congressman David Scott proudly announced that he will host the 11th Annual 13th Congressional District Jobs Fair on Friday, March 28, 2014, 10am to 3pm, at the Georgia International Convention Center.

This year’s employers are looking to fill 4,207 positions and include: AFLAC; Atlanta Fire & Rescue; Albany Police Department; Atlanta VA Medical Center; Art Institute of Atlanta; AT&T; Clayton County; Cobb County; Comcast; Douglas County EMS; Federal Air Marshals; Georgia Power; GLOCK; Home Depot; Hyatt Regency Atlanta; JB Hunt Transport; Kaiser Permanente; Kroger; Lowe’s; MARTA; New York Life; Randstad; SunTrust; Tyco Fire Protection; United Distributors; UPS; Regions Bank; Waffle House; Wal-Mart; Wells Fargo; WorldPay; and more!

Additionally, Congressman Scott’s Jobs Fair is partnering with HomeSafe Georgia and key banks to deliver mortgage aid and foreclosure prevention resources to homeowners facing unemployment or underemployment while they seek new work. HomeSafe counselors and bank representatives will be available on site to provide direct counseling. Participating banks and counselors include: Bank of America; BB&T; Citi Mortgage; D&E Group; Fannie Mae; Federal Housing Administration; Georgia Department of Community Affairs; HSBC; HUD; M&T Bank; NID; Ocwen; Regions; State Home Mortgage; SunTrust; U.S. Bank; VA; Wells Fargo; and others.

Attendees are encouraged to take MARTA to Airport station and board the free ATL SkyTrain to the Convention Center or take MARTA to College Park station and board a special MARTA bus shuttle to the event.

What: Congressman David Scott’s 11th Annual 13th Congressional District Jobs Fair                                                                      
Friday, March 28, 2014, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Georgia International Convention Center, 2000 Convention Center Concourse | College Park, GA 30337

For more information, please call 770-432-5405 or visit

Free Webinars From SCORE

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

SCORE LIVE Webinar 3/27: Hot Markets! Hot Trends! Hot Businesses! Great Ideas For Small Business Owners

Spring is (finally) here and there’s no better time to embrace new concepts, ideas and markets to propel your small business. Find out what business trends you should incorporate into your company, what markets are driving sales and how you can give your business a spring cleaning. To register, please visit their website at

SBA and NWBC Host #STEMforHer Twitter Chat for Women’s History Month

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Women business owners are invited to learn more about increasing opportunities for entrepreneurs in high-growth industries and how to advance their small business ventures through a #STEMforHer live Twitter chat on March 24, hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration (@SBAgov) and the National Women’s Business Council (@NWBC).

#STEMforHer is an online dialogue aimed at advancing the conversation on women and girls pursuing careers and entrepreneurship in science, technology, engineering and math.

Erin Andrew from the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership will share tips and insight on how SBA can help women overcome the hurdles of growing their businesses.

Also joining the dialogue is small business owner Divya Nag, co-founder of Stem Cell Theranostics (@Dnag09). She will share her inspiring story about her path to becoming one of STEM’s youngest women entrepreneurs. Other prominent women innovators including Goldie Blox (@GoldieBlox) and Girls in Tech (@GirlsinTech) will also take part.

Join the conversation as the SBA and NWBC help to move the needle forward on empowering women’s entrepreneurship.

WHAT:                 SBA & NWBC Twitter Chat:  STEM and Growing Hi–Tech Firms                          

WHEN:                 Monday, March 24, 2 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET

HOW:                   Hashtag: #STEMforHer

No registration is needed, but you must have a Twitter account

Chick-fil-A Sponsors Free Community Leadership Speaker Series

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

In the spirit of fostering community and leadership, the Chick-fil-A Foundation sponsors a free Community Leadership Speaker Series. On Thursday, April 10, the series will feature Jenner Wood III, the chairman, president and CEO of SunTrust Bank’s Atlanta/Georgia Division. The Foundation is inviting Atlanta-area business organizations to attend this unique opportunity. Wood was chosen to speak in April as part of Financial Literacy Month. While he has extensive banking and financial-market expertise, Wood is also involved with many nonprofits that focus on education, healthcare and helping the poor.

Breakfast will be provided. Along with Wood’s speech, attendees are invited to participate in a Chick-fil-A Home Office Backstage Tour for a behind-the-scenes look at Chick-fil-A. Below are details on how to attend this exciting event.

When: Thursday, April 10
8:30 a.m. – A conversation with Jenner Wood
10:00 a.m. – Chick-fil-A Home Office Backstage Tour

Where: Chick-fil-A Headquarters
5200 Buffington Road
Atlanta, GA 30349


Comcast to Award $25K+ in Entrepreneur Competition

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Comcast Business to award more than $600,000 in cash and services to tech savvy entrepreneurs through Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs program

 National competition will award business owners up to $25,000 cash, services from Comcast Business and consultation from business experts, including Marcus Lemonis and Robert Irvine

 Comcast Business and Inc. Magazine today launched “Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs,” a national competition that will award more than $600,000 in cash and services to aspiring entrepreneurs who are leveraging technology to enhance customer and employee experiences. Individual winners will have the opportunity to win $25,000 in cash, Comcast Business Internet and TV services for two years, a $2,500 allocation for additional Comcast Business services and complimentary use of premium cloud applications from Comcast’s Upware partners Cisco, Microsoft, Symantec, DocuSign, Soonr and Swiftpage Engage for one year.

“Technology can transform a small business, and we want to elevate and recognize those entrepreneurs that are using it to make a difference for their customers and employees with the Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs program,” said Terry Connell, senior vice president, Comcast Business. “Across our growing customer base, Comcast Business sees so many incredible stories about how innovative uses of technology help create exciting, profitable businesses. This program will show what can happen when these promising companies receive the funding and tools they need to take on the challenges of owning and running their own business.”

Based on an essay submission, entries will be judged and two winners will be selected in each of the 16 Comcast Business Regions: one winner for best use of technology to enhance the customer experience and one for best use of technology to enhance the employee experience. Entries will be judged by John Jantsch, Marketing Consultant, Speaker and best-selling author of Duct Tape MarketingThe Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and Anita Campbell, Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends.

From the 32 regional winners, six will be named grand prize winners and, in addition to cash and services, will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City, where they and a guest will have the opportunity to receive one-on-one consulting with nationally recognized business experts: Marcus Lemonis, businessman, investor, TV personality and Philanthropist; Robert Irvine, Celebrity Chef and Entrepreneur; and Comcast senior executives. They will also receive a VIP tour of 30 Rockefeller Center and an awards dinner prepared by Chef Irvine.

Entrepreneurs are encouraged to visit to submit their application and essay and review the full program details. Entries are due by April 30, 2014.

Regional winners will be notified the week of May 19, 2014. Public voting for the 32 regional winners will be held May 20 – June 1, 2014. The six grand prize winners will be announced the week of June 30, 2014 with the New York awards event planned for August 26, 2014.

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