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Outreach Centers

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The outreach centers in the College of Business & Public Affairs provide counseling and workshops to small businesses and to individuals desiring to start a business.  In addition, the center huses the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Support Program.  


Small Business Counseling 

The Small Business counseling is provided to small businesses in a seven-county area (Cullman, Dekalb, Jackson, Limestone, Madison, Morgan, Marshall) at no cost.  


Solutions specifically tailored to the needs of the business client include:


  • Counseling – one-on-one meetings with a business counselor to discuss business planning, marketing tactics, financing resources or legal considerations
  • Workshops – topics covering business basics, strategic marketing, accounting and tax guidelines
  • Jobs creations: provides technical support and innovative strategies for preventive and existing businesses in areas relating to jobs creations and jobs retention.
  • Business Planning Resource Room – open to the public for browsing and research


Services include entrepreneurship and economic development, executive and leadership training, governmental affairs, innovation and information technology, logistics and supply chain management training, and project management. Our process-driven approach employs all available resources to create a comprehensive business development plan for the client’s business.



Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Supportive Services (DBESS)

The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Supportive Services Program ensures disadvantaged business firms have maximum opportunity to participate in federal, state and city contracts. The program is administered by three US Department of Transportation (DOT) operating administrations: the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Transit Administration and is implemented by the Alabama Department of Transportation.  The DBESS:


  • Provides counseling, technical assistance and other business management services to certified DBE firms (minority and women-owned) in the State of Alabama

  • Creates opportunities for DBE firms to network with prime contractors and procurement officers

  • Assists in enabling DBE firms to move into the mainstream of the highway construction industry

  • Recruits new firms into the program