SARANAC LAKE - Three groups of graduates have learned a smarter way to start their own business - or keep it going.
That is the number of classes that have gone through the new Adirondack Business Center in Saranac Lake since it opened its doors on Nov. 1, 2010.
"We are trying to support small businesses and entrepreneurs who have been working at or are thinking about starting a business," Shannon Mercurio, who works with Cindy Barge at the Saranac Lake center, said. "We are hoping to use our program to help small business owners particularly in rural areas."
The new business programs are supported through Clarkson University, under the direction of Marc Compeau and associate Erin Draper.
"They put 450 people through the original program at Clarkson," Mercurio said. "The idea was then, let's take this to other places and help out more people."
The new business portion of the center offers a four-week, free class on operating small businesses, along with other fee-based classes for those who want to learn more.
"Close to 75 people have gone through the class here and we have received a lot of positive feedback," Mercurio said. "Our hope is that programs like this would bring more young people back to the community where they grew up and start businesses here that help the local economy."
Mercurio said the group hopes to continue to hear feedback from those who have taken advantage of the center as well as the community at large.
"We are open about hearing what it is that the community needs and then doing our best to feed that need," Mercurio said. "The classes are where we have been focusing the majority of our energy in providing that kind of support to the business community."
Along with the education component of the center, Mercurio said the site also offers several business accommodations.
"We have a conference room, office spaces and computer work stations that we rent out," Mercurio said. "We are slowly starting to pick up on those services."
For more information on the Adirondack Business Center, contact the site at 354-8410.