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Wittman: Local resources for the budding entrepreneur

Last week in this column, I talked about chucking it all to join the circus. Well, not the circus, but chucking it all to start your own business, which, depending on how you look at it, is a lot like the circus.

There are at least three rings of activity at any given time as well as fiery hoops to jump through.

While I have long fantasized about being my own boss, I remember too well the tales of my adjunct professors, most of whom were themselves small-business owners.

I’m a graduate of the University of Arizona’s esteemed Entrepreneurship Program. The one thing I remember about entrepreneurship is risk. It is, by nature, a highly risky, high-stakes gambit.

It’s the $100 minimum bet poker table and I’m more your nickel slots kind of person.

If my loving depictions of being self-employed haven’t been enough to make you run screaming for the classified ads, then you’re made of sturdier stock than I.

I admire you and your brave can-do attitude.

That said, there are several local resources to help get your nascent business off the ground, offering help with everything from obtaining the proper business license to securing financing.

The Pima County Public Library has some great resources. Go to www.library.pima.gov/research/guides/busstartup.cfm.

In addition to small-business basics, you’ll find Main Library resources and Internet sites you can use to identify industry associations, trade shows, consumer trends and industry analysis.

Another great resource is the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce’s business checklist. You can view it at www.tucsonchamber.org/economic_development/business-checklist.

If you’re ready to take the plunge, go to aztaxes.gov to register your business. You’ll also need a federal tax ID number, which you can obtain through irs.gov.

The Arizona Department of Commerce has a good Web site, too, at azcommerce.com/BusAsst/. Here you’ll find links to small-business services in Arizona, as well as state incentives, programs and grants.

Romi Carrell Wittman is a business writer and the communication services director for Trico Electric Cooperative. E-mail her at romi.wittman@comcast.net.

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