CANTON – The Adirondack Economic Development Corp. (AEDC) has partnered with the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) to provide comprehensive entrepreneurship training and technical assistance – as well as direct access to commercial loans – to those who want to do more than just dream of being their own boss someday.

AEDC will be holding its 60-hour Entrepreneurship Assistance Program (EAP) Small Business Institute in Canton, beginning Tuesday, Oct. 25. The deadline to register is Oct. 20. This comprehensive hands-on training course is specifically designed for new and existing business owners to learn what it takes to give their business ideas the best chance to succeed.

  • Classes are tentatively slated for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday evenings at the St. Lawrence County IDA building, 19 Commerce Lane in Canton. To sign up, or for more information, call 315-379-9806, or via email at:

Topics to be covered in this program include:

  • Planning and researching your business idea;
  • Marketing analysis, strategies and implementation;
  • Financial record-keeping;
  • Understanding and using cash flow projections;
  • Financing your business;
  • Negotiating with partners, clients and customers, and more.

The classes blend classroom instruction with individualized training, as well as lectures by prominent business experts followed by question-and-answer sessions.

Our goal is for class participants to complete a fully vetted professional business plan by the end of the course – which is required for any business seeking financing to start or grow their business – and to provide direct access to local commercial funding sources.

The program is designed to not only provide basic business skills training, but also includes at least 10 hours of one-on-one assistance in developing your specific business idea. Those who complete the classes will also receive special consideration for a business loan through one of AEDC’s loan programs.

The NxLeveL training program is supported by the statewide Entrepreneurial Assistance Program (EAP) network, of which AEDC is an affiliate organization. The cost of instruction and assistance is covered by the EAP network; participants will be asked to pay $149 to cover the costs of books and materials – but participants will receive a $50 refund if they attend 80% of the classes (13 of 16), complete 10 hours of free one-on-one technical assistance and turn in a completed business plan by the end of the program.

Honorably discharged veterans may participate in the classes free of charge. Participants will also have the opportunity to have their business ideas vetted by a panel of professionals before submitting their proposal for financing. Those who do receive a loan will also receive a reduction in their interest rate by participating in the class.