CLARKSBURG -─ Veterans looking for assistance starting a new business or growing an existing business have an extensive range of business topics to choose from during the Veterans Business Summit set for Sept. 14 at the I-79 Technology Park Research Center in Fairmont.

The Summit's agenda is packed with business related presentations ranging from financing for veterans to free business assistance programs. To participate in this FREE event you must be a veteran or, on active-duty military status or, a spouse of either. Providers of veteran services and the general public are also encouraged to attend.

The event will open with William Elmore, associate administrator from the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Veterans Business Development whose topic will be, "How Veterans Can Grow Their Business: Opportunities and Best Practices." Following Elmore, three 45-minute tracts will be offered: "Veterans Doing Business with the Federal Government," by Scott Denniston, a government contracting expert; "Patriot Express Business Loans for Vets," by Terry Spears, an SBA banking officer with Community Trust Bank and Jim Epling from the WV Small Business Development Center (SBDC); and "Business Legal Structures Explained" by Chuck Smith, CPA from the renowned accounting firm Smith Cochran & Hicks, PLLC.

West Virginia's own Medal of Honor recipient Hershel "Woody" Williams will be the special guest at lunch.

The Summit's afternoon sessions will include the topics: "Legal Lessons for Federal Contractors," by Roy Jones, Jr., from HMS TECHNOLOGIES, INC. "Small Business Lending: Facts v. Fiction," with Stephanie Ellingson from Huntington National Bank; "Patriot Express Business Loans for Vets," with Matt Coffey from BB&T and Tara Elder, Director of the WV Women's Business & Training Center (WBC); "Business Concerns in Federal Contracting," with Jonathan Elder, CPA with the accounting firm Toothman Rice, PLLC; "Strategic Business Planning," with Harry Siegel, owner of HMS TECHNOLOGIES, INC. a successful Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business; and "Free Small Business Resources," with representatives from SBA's resource partner network--the Regional Contracting Assistance Center, SCORE, WBC, and the SBDC. The Summit will conclude with a session entitled, "Where Do I Go From Here?" by Harry Siegel.

"There is no event a veteran can attend anywhere in West Virginia that will provide as much detailed information on starting or growing a business as the Veterans Business Summit on September 14," said Judy McCauley, Director of SBA's West Virginia District Office. "Each presenter is an expert in their field and has volunteered their time to help West Virginia's veterans succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavors."

There is no charge to attend the Summit but pre-registration is required. To register, visit www.wvscore.org or call 1-800-767-8052 ext. 8.

Sponsors of the Summit include the West Virginia Small Business Development Center, the West Virginia Women's Business and Training Center, and SCORE.

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