By M.J. Subiria Arauz
Small businesses will save money and become more efficient by "greening" their companies, said a consultant for Clayton State University's Small Business Development Center.
Alisa Kirk said that for the first time, the Small Business Development Center and the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce partnered to present the course "Green Corporate Strategies for Your Business," on Thursday, April 21, from 4 p.m., to 7:30 p.m., at Allan Vigil Ford Lincoln, Inc., 6970 Mt. Zion Road, Morrow.
"Businesses now are looking for various ways to be able to provide various services...and how to get new customers and stay ahead of the curve," added Crystal Black, vice president of the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce.
Kirk said participants will be able to network from 4 p.m., to 5 p.m., and the course will begin afterwards.
Participants will learn various green topics, including how to comply with green requirements and incorporating environmental impact into their corporate strategy.
"They [small businesses] will learn how to save money, increase profitability and gain new markets, because there is a whole new green consumer out there," explained Kirk.
The cost of the course is $69 per person, and $49 for chamber members, she said. To register, visit www.georgiasbdc.org, click on the "Classroom Training" tab, and then the "Morrow" tab, she explained.
Kirk said the local Development Center received numerous requests from small businesses, regarding saving money through efficiency and marketing green products and services.
Small businesses interested in operating economically, should learn conservation methods, including saving electricity in the workplace, she said.
"For example, you could save money in the I.T. [information technology] department by turning off computers, instead of using screen savers," said Kirk.
She added that by turning electrical items off after hours, businesses can save about 25 percent on the power bill. Items include printers, computers and lighting.
Furthermore, owners can use fluorescent light bulbs, or install light-emitting diode (LED) lights, which will assist in reducing their power bill and save energy, said Kirk.
Kirk said small businesses that work with large companies, will be informed of general green requirements they will need to follow, such as knowing the carbon footprint of the product they're selling. Small businesses, such as vendors or outside contractors, work with companies such as Target, Walmart and The Home Depot, she said.
"Because of sustainability changes, there are new requirements," said Kirk.