Small businesses can get online help

Several educational sessions are being offered this month

By Gordon Oliver, Columbian business editor

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The U.S. Small Business Administration’s national and Oregon/Southwest Washington offices, as well as the Small Business Development Center, are offering a variety of free online educational programs and services this month to help small businesses develop tools for success.

The Small Business Development Center offers an online session on how to obtain a business loan from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Speaker Rick Stone will discuss access and sources of capital. Stone was a partner and manager in his family’s retail clothing business in Gresham, Ore., and Sandy, Ore.; has owned and operated three Hallmark shops; and worked at Clackamas Community College’s Small Business Development Center. He now works at Portland and Mt. Hood Community College Small Business Development Centers in Oregon. Registration is available at http://bit.ly/yhM6zK.

An online workshop on hiring new employees will be held from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Thursday. Topics include how to attract and hire quality employees, as well as building effective employee/employer relationships, starting with proper job postings, applications, job descriptions and hiring paperwork. Registration is available at http://bit.ly/xIB7Gz.

Nationally, a Feb. 16 Web chat will offer business startup advice for entrepreneurs. Janice Washington, state director of the Arizona Small Business Development Center Network, will host the Web chat “New Year, New Business: How to Start it Right.” An experienced business consultant and former business owner, Washington will answer questions about the early steps to take when starting a business, and the tools and resources that can help to get a small business idea off the ground.

The one-hour webinar begins at 10 a.m. Feb. 16. Sign up at http://bit.ly/wGAz2E.