The Small Business Center at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is offering displaced workers a free chance to learn how to start a small business.
Cabarrus has been hit hard during the recession that began in December 2007.
The county has 1,400 foreclosed homes and an unemployment rate of 12.1 percent, County Manager John Day said recently.
Day cited those figures in saying the county couldn't lay a property tax increase on residents, even to deal with an expected $6.2million revenue shortfall next fiscal year. Not raising the tax rate was a factor in his having to cut 76 county government jobs and reduce library and park hours.
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Beginning March 22, the Small Business Center will offer the nationally recognized, 36-hour FastTrac New Venture entrepreneurship program.
The three-week class will meet at the college's Cabarrus Business & Technology Center in Concord.
Designed for people serious about starting a small business, the course provides real-world tools to help develop a business concept and move quickly toward a successful business launch, said Barbara Hall, director of the Small Business Center.
Course topics include identifying and reaching a target market, setting financial goals, planning a product or service and building an effective team.
"The hands-on activities that help participants focus on their particular business idea is the key to the program's nationwide popularity," Hall said in announcing the course's availability here.
FastTrac New Venture is a program of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, based in Kansas City, Mo. The program is being donated for job seekers in 12 N.C. counties, as part of Gov. Bev Perdue's economic and work force recovery initiative.
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College will offer the course from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, March 22-April 7.