published on April 3, 2018 - 1:33 PM
Written by David Castellon

If you’ve ever wondered how to start a business, the Visalia Chamber of Commerce is looking to help.

The chamber is launching its “Emerge” program to provide basic introductory business classes over six months to teach the basic skills needed to launch businesses and help them grow.

“For many, the most difficult part of starting a business is deciding on the first step,” states a press release from the organization.

“The Chamber realizes that starting and running a small business is almost impossible to do on your own. Business owners need to create a network of individuals and resources that they can call on when they encounter a roadblock,” it continues.

“The Emerge program provides an opportunity for participants to build a strong network and business skills through writing a functioning business plan, meeting and learning from business experts from nine different industries and working with a business mentor throughout the program.”

The program is designed for individuals who have ideas to turn into businesses, but they don’t know where or how to start, and current small business owners and operators who want to grow them or to ensure they haven’t skipped critical steps.

“Entrepreneurship is vital to the success of a community. Entrepreneurs bring new ideas, generate tax revenue and provide jobs for the local community.” Gail Zurek, president and CEO of the chamber, said in a written statement.

The 12 evening classes will be held at the College of Sequoias’ Visalia campus, with each focusing on a specific aspects of business, including business law, accounting, marketing, zoning and ordinances, human resources, insurance, taxes and sales training and non-profit management.

Tuition is $350, and applicants will be selected through an application and interview process. Attendance to individual classes is available at a rate of $50 per class.

Applications and additional information are available online at or by calling 734-5876.

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