POSTED: Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 7:05pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 1:14pm
EL PASO - With many out of a job, a lot of people are dreaming about starting their own business. One local organization is helping folks turn those dreams into a reality.
Starting a business is kind of like baking a cake. If it's your first time, you have to follow a recipe. Luckily, Charles James had some help.
"I was a Marine for almost 22-years, and on one of my deployments I went to South America. I went into a bakery," he said. "That's when I said, 'I like this, and I want to do this someday.'"
That day came this January when he opened the C&L Bakery in East El Paso. It's now about one month old, and we're told the sweet taste of success is all thanks to the Small Business Development Center. They teach people how to plan, start, and run their own business for free. They estimate, they've helped more than 10,000 new business owners in the Borderland since 1985.
"We can help a business owner and an aspiring entrepreneur from A to Z," program director Olga Tavarez said.
"We'll hold their hand through the process and hopefully, with working with them, it will be a success story for them and for us," assistant director Joe Ferguson said.
The Small Business Development Center provided James with a checklist, a business recipe if you will.
"It helped a lot, because all I had to do was refer back to the checklist," he said.
James followed that recipe, and today he's delivering the goods, employing workers, and hoping to one day expand.
The Small Business Development Center is hosted by the El Paso Community College. Their services are completely free.