Free Training at TSBDC/KOSBE Small Business Spring Night School for Existing Businesses

April 30, 2012

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – The Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at ETSU and the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) will host a free Small Business Spring Night School on Tuesday, May 22 from 6 — 9 p.m., at the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, 400 Clinchfield Street, Ste. 100, downtown Kingsport.

Primarily, the Small Business Fall Night School provides free training, networking opportunities, group problem-solving and collaboration and access to financing to small business owners and entrepreneurs for start-up and expansion. The topics in this night school are geared to those already in business.

The workshop is offered free of cost, but registration is required.

Three classes will be featured at the Spring Night School: Becoming a More Confident QuickBooks User, Conflict In Your Workplace: Prevent It When You Can, Deal With It When You Can’t and Move On! and a discussion forum with the State of Tennessee Small Business Advocate, Cutting Through the Bureaucratic Red Tape.

Becoming a More Confident QuickBooks User: This class is suitable for companies who are not using QuickBooks yet and want to explore it as well as for companies that already have it. The class will review the basics of how to: set up a QuickBooks file, tailor your chart of accounts, enter invoices and pay bills, credit memos and sales receipts, receive payments on account/make deposits, enter credit card charges/reconcile to statement, reconcile your bank account, write checks, create and run simple and customized reports and find anything in QuickBooks. Facilitated by Kathy Richards, CPA, business coach and owner of AdviCoach. Richard’s is a consultant who helps clients grow/improve business profits, overhauls processes for greater efficiencies and provides companies the tools to build protective teams. Last year, Richard’s was named AdviCoach Franchisee of the Year and is the recipient of the 2011 KOSBE Awards Impact Award given to outstanding individuals and small business advocates. Richards received a degree in accounting from the University of Maryland and is a certified consultant for QuickBooks. She serves as a community volunteer on several boards such as the KOSBE Council, Kingsport Ballet and Engage Kingsport.

Conflict In Your Workplace: Prevent It When You Can, Deal With It When You Can’t and Move On! Attendees will learn how to handle conflicts that may arise in the workplace. Your organization depends on people, which means that conflict is a strong possibility, if not an inevitability, in your workplace. Efforts to prevent conflict and to minimize its destructive potential are highly recommended, through measures such as the careful selection and training of supervision and the establishment of policy. In this session, you will explore these and other concepts and consider the impact and cost of chronic or unresolved conflict. Facilitated by Stephen Darden, attorney at Hunter, Smith & Davis LLP. Darden’s practice emphasis is in labor and employment issues. He has served as chairman of numerous organization and served as Johnson City Vice Mayor and Mayor from 2001-2003 and 2005-2007. He received a degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Business Administration and his law degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Law. Darden served as President of the Washington County Bar Association in 1994 and has written numerous articles including a quarterly "Legal Watch" article for the Johnson City Business Magazine.

Cutting Through the Bureaucratic Red Tape: Attendees will learn the roles of the Tennessee Comptroller of Treasury Office of Small Business Advocate and how it serves as a point of contact to state government for owners of businesses with 50 or fewer employees. The Office assists in the resolution of issues concerning small businesses and state departments and agencies. Attendees will also learn tips on how small business owners working with department and agencies can get their concerns addressed more quickly by cutting through the red tape. At the end of the discussion forum, a brief legislation end of session update will be provided. Facilitated by Lauren Plunk, small business advocate – comptroller of the treasury, State of Tennessee. Plunk was appointed the state’s Small Business Advocate in June of 2011. She works with small business owners who have questions or need assistance navigating regulatory issues within state government, with a focus on resolving conflicts between small business owners and state government. Prior to taking over the position, she worked for the Tennessee Secretary of State, as a Business Analyst in the Business Services Division. She attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in political science. Plunk is currently enrolled at the Nashville School of Law with an anticipated graduation date of May 2013. A native of Kingsport, she currently resides in Nashville.

This Small Business Spring Night School is designed for existing businesses (including home-based).

Light refreshments will be provided by SunTrust Bank.

The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Advanced registration is required and must be received by Friday, May 18. 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.