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Series of business classes start Monday

(ran East, South editions)

African-Americans interested in starting or improving a business are invited to a meeting Monday organized by the St. Petersburg Employment and Economic Development Corp. (SEEDCO).

The first class for those who want to take part will be Monday evening from 6:30 to 8 at the Allstate Center of St. Petersburg Junior College, 3200 34th St. S, Rooms 116-117.

"This is not just another small business training program," Renee Benton, a director of employment and training with the Florida Department of Labor and Employment Security, said in a press release announcing the program.

The program is to be launched at a news conference Monday morning at 8:30 at the Enoch D. Davis Center, 1111 18th Ave. S.

Its organizers want the program to help two groups:

Small business owners who want to improve their businesses by learning practical tips about every aspect of business as well as tax law.

People who might want to start a business but are not sure how or what kind of commitment is involved.

For newcomers to business, classes will help them to see what is involved in running a business _ finding start-up capital, managing cash flow and running the day-to-day operation with an overall business plan.

Classes for people already in business are designed to help them run it better.

"Our goal right now is to make sure that every one in our community is aware of this program where you can start or expand your own business," said Marva Dennard, a coordinator of the SEEDCO program.

Independent of this program, Dennard is spokeswoman for The Coalition of African American Leadership Inc. and a visible supporter of Bill Klein, who is running for mayor.

Dennard hopes for at least 30 participants but said the program can accommodate up to 100. There will be separate classes for those running a business and those who are interested in starting one. There is no charge.

Saturday , Doug Jamerson, secretary of the Florida Department of Labor, is scheduled to speak to participants from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Enoch Davis Center.

Dennard said anyone with questions about the program can call her at 321-7151, or Bill Huff, director of SEEDCO, at 823-4424. She also pointed out that people can join the program even if they cannot make Monday night's meeting.