The Chamber is pleased to announce that we have teamed with the Ohio Small Business Development Center of Kent State University to offer Small Business Counseling.  Workshops are held monthy, with the exception of December and June. There are both afternoon & evening workshops available.  All sessions take place in the Chamber Complex, 377 W. Liberty St.  Individual meetings can also be scheduled with the instructor for further assistance with small business issues. If you are interested in learning more or attending a workshop please go the SBDC website at www.cantonsbdc.org and follow the orientation link (a small materials fee will apply to attend the class).

The Center

The Ohio Small Business Development Center (OSBDC) at Kent State University Stark Campus is part of a statewide network of small business providers funded by local, state and federal resources.  The OSBDC staff are Certified Business Advisors.  These professionals comply with rigorous professional development standards mandated by the State of Ohio in order to keep abreast of current business issues.

The services at the OSBDC can:

  • Improve the perfomance of small businesses by helping to develop better management practices.
  • Lead to greater profits as a result of better planning for existing businesses.
  • Increase the success rate for start-up businesses.
  • Enhance the economic growth of Stark and Wayne Counties.


The OSBDC can assist your business through the maze of government regulations and administrative issues associated with operating or starting a business.  OSBDC offers no-fee, one-on-one counseling and information services.  All counseling services are customized to meet the needs of each small business owner and manager.  All shared information remains confidential.  Residents from other counties can contact the OSBDC at Kent State Stark for the location of the center nearest them.

The Center also conducts group counseling sessions.  These sessions address specific topics such as legal contracts, improving your web presence and managing retail inventory, among others.  The OSBDC also provides referrals to area business professionals who can help your business prosper.  The center maintains relationships with local accountants, attorneys and banks who are committed to small business development.


The OSBDC conducts numerous training seminars throughout the year on specific topics that are important to local business owners.  Because your time is valuable, most programs are completed in one session.

Seminars include:

  • IRS tax workshops.
  • Small Business Administration loan seminars. 
  • Food Protection Certification and more. 

Small Business Orientation

A two-hour seminar is offered twice a month for anyone who is considering the start up of a new business or anyone who has been in business less than two years.  Topics addressed in this session include permits, legal issues, financing, business plan development and more.