City partners with other cities, organizations to offer business workshops

Published 9:32 am Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The city of Elizabethton is partnering with the several other cities and organizations to offer a series of workshops designed for local entrepreneurs.

The first Read, Set, Launch workshop will be held on Tuesday, June 23 at 5:30 p.m at Old South, 601 Spring St., Johnson City. The workshops will cover the challenges that come with owning a small business and will address those through meetings, training and a pitch competition.

“Many entrepreneurs have great ideas for business, but lack the resources needed or don’t know where to begin,” Elizabethton Director of Planning and Development Jon Hartman said. “This workshop is designed to help people look at beginning their business with open eyes and help them get started with a strong first step.”

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The goal of the workshop is to encourage local residents who have a small business, or are thinking of opening their own business, to help improve the retail base for the area.

“It helps businesses get started,” Hartman said. “It walks them through forming a business plan, and helps connect them with incentives to get up and get established. The program is designed to help make sure businesses succeed.”

The workshop will be led by Hal Bowling and Marco Perez. Bowling is the co-founder and executive director of LAUNCH in Chattanooga, has been a successful entrepreneur, business coach and marketing executive. Perez is the vice-president of Operations for LAUNCH. Together, they will share key principles to beginning a lean start up that will ensure success for you and for the growth of your business in Northeast Tennessee.

Located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, LAUNCH was born out of the need for inclusion in the entrepreneurial fabric of their city. Their mission is to empower a diverse group of individual business owners to pursue their dreams. LAUNCH believes business holds the key to transforming individuals, families and communities.

For more information about the workshop or to reserve your space, call 423-202-3510 or email The workshop is sponsored by the Washington County Economic Development Council, AccelNow, Unicoi Economic Development and Carter County Economic Development with a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.