Free Small Business Certifications Classes in February

February 02, 2012

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – The Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at ETSU and the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) will host two free Small Business Certification classes on Tuesday, February 21 from 9 – 11 a.m., at the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, 151 E. Main Street, downtown Kingsport and Friday, February 24 from 1 – 3 p.m. at the Rogersville Chamber of Commerce, 107 E. Main Street, Suite 100, downtown Rogersville.

The workshops are offered free of cost, but registration is required.

Small Business Certifications – Get Certified!: In this introductory course, you will learn about the different types of small business certifications and why you should get your business certified—whether your business is minority-owned, veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, woman-owned, located in a historically underutilized business zone (HUB-Zone), or you’re just plain SMALL with diminished capital and credit opportunities, i.e., an economically disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE).

The course focuses on eligibility requirements for various kinds of certifications and gives you action items to do after self-certifying or getting certified by a third-party, to improve your chances of possibly winning a government contract for your business. You will also have access to real experts who will share practical tips, examples, checklists, web sites and business tools that are easy to use.

This class will be facilitated by Jacqueline Merritt, economic development specialist with the U. S. Small Business Administration and Aundrea Wilcox, sr. business counselor with the Tennessee Business Development Center at East Tennessee State University Kingsport Affiliate Office and executive director of KOSBE.

“Getting certified enables you to compete for significant contracts in a limited, competitive environment,” said Wilcox. “A true certification success story is recent KOSBE Award Winner, Dykes Trucking. In December 2011, Dykes achieved TDOT certification as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and immediately had the opportunity to bid on work which she was not eligible previously.”

The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Advanced registration is required and must be received by February 20, 2012 (Kingsport location) and by February 23, 2012 (Rogersville location). Anyone interested can register online at or call (423) 392-8825 for more information.

It is the intent of KOSBE to be the go-to organization in the Tri-Cities for small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to start or grow their businesses, by creating and developing the right tools and resources and cultivating the right partnerships. In partnership with Tennessee Small Business Development Centers (TSBDC) at ETSU, KOSBE can more effectively serve the needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses. For a complete listing of services, tools and resources, visit

The cooperative agreement between KOSBE and East Tennessee State University is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA’s funding is not an endorsement of any products, opinions or services. SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Additional funding is provided by the Tennessee Board of Regents and the state of Tennessee.

To schedule your free confidential counseling appointment in a private setting by TSBDC-certified counselors in person, online by phone or e-mail call Marybeth McLain at (423) 392.8825 or e-mail,

For more information about the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at ETSU Kingsport Affiliate Office and your Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE), visit and or call (423) 392.8825. We’re social too; follow us on Facebook, Kosbe – The Small Business Connection, Twitter, @KOSBEConnection, LinkedIn group, KOSBE — The Small Business Connection and our YouTube Channel, KOSBEConnection.