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Chicago Offers Seminars to Help Draft Biz Plans

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Chicago wants to help you with your business plan.

The city treasurer’s office is offering a series of four free business plan seminars to help people draft a two-page blueprint for their business idea -- as well as a contest that offers $10,000 in cash prizes to the best three business plans.

Entrepreneurs who attend one of the seminars get expert help drawing up a business template that includes a mission statement, current and projected growth and revenue vs. cost.

"Banks say the number one reason they turn down entrepreneurs is lack of a good business plan,” says City Treasurer Stephanie Neely, “This program helps entrepreneurs build their own financial future."

The contest is open to start-ups and existing businesses with less than $2 million annual revenues. 

Past winners and finalists include: 
  • A purveyor of hand-crafted violins, cellos and basses that uses centuries-old techniques to create modern instruments.
     
  • A designer of solar-powered handbags and totes that harness the sun to charge cell phones, iPods and PDAs.
     
  • A child-care center that goes above-and-beyond the usual by featuring field trips, healthy meals and family events. 
The first seminar will be held Wednesday, May 25, 6:30-8:30 pm at Harris Bank, 115 South LaSalle St., 3rd floor. 
 
Business plan seminars are also scheduled Wed. June 1, June 8 and June 15. For more information, visit the website of the Office of the Treasurer.

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