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PINELLAS COUNTY HOUSING AUTHORITY HOLDS SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS FOR PUBLIC HOUSING RESIDENTS

Today, PCHA held the first of a series of Small Business Development Informational Workshops to conduct self-assessments and to share valuable information about the local business development centers such as the Pinellas County Economic Development Center and the City of St. Petersburg’s Business Assistance Center.  Both provide consulting and training designed to teach prospective and new entrepreneurs the basics of starting and successfully operating a business.

PCHA conducted a survey of all public housing and rental assistance participants and found that over 100 residents/participants expressed interest in entrepreneurship.  Business interests among those surveyed varied widely.  “Residents have some outstanding ideas regarding what type of business they want to own and operate” said Regina Booker, PCHA’s Director of Resident Services and Programs.  Ideas range from service businesses and temporary staffing agencies to owning and operating restaurants and retail establishments.

Residents of PCHA’s public housing communities and participants on PCHA’s Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance program who expressed interest through the survey were invited to attend today’s special sessions to learn more about how to get started.  “We’re excited to encourage entrepreneurship among our residents” said Debra Johnson, PCHA’s Executive Director.  Residents in attendance were also encouraged to enroll in PCHA’s Family Self-Sufficiency program to assist them in establishing career goals and in identifying and taking the steps needed to achieve their employment goals.