Gainesville SBDC Office

The University of Georgia SBDC
The Featherbone Center
999 Chestnut Street
Gainesville, GA 30501
Phone: (770) 531-5681
Fax: (770) 531-5684
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Featured Program

start smart

10 Year anniversary (11 min)



Program Overview:

February 3

Module 1

February 10

Module 2

February 17

Module 3

February 23

Module 4

March 3

Module 5

Work ON your business, not just IN your business!


  • A step-by-step evaluation of your business and markets.

  • A hands-on, interactive forum that promotes sharing of best practices.

  • Tools to build your business, both now and for the future.


SBDC GrowSmart™ graduates gain:


  • A strategic business plan with a long-term vision and strategies.

  • A mastery of key business concepts.

  • A network of entrepreneurial peers and professional resources.


In full-day weekly sessions, learn to analyze, plan and manage your business like a seasoned CEO.

This program is facilitated by national known, Tim Fulton.

Click here to apply today


Ron E. Simmons
B.B.A. in Management, The University of Georgia
M.B.A. in Marketing, Mercer University
Area Director in Gainesville

Prior to joining the SBDC in 1990, Mr. Simmons was in the Retail division of BP North America working in retail management and retail site development and store operations. He was a District Sales Manager for Stone Construction Equipment, Inc.; was a District Sales Manager for Kennametal, Inc.; and worked in industrial management. Mr. Simmons received the ASBDC Star Performer Award in 1999 and 2011, for excellence in consulting activity. He was recognized as the Georgia SBDC Consultant of the Year in 2011 and received the Flewellen Award for Consulting Excellence in 2011 and 2013. Mr. Simmons was one of the recipients for the Project of the Year Award for 2011 for his team contributions in the Google training and consulting initiative. His areas of interest include retail management and theft prevention; marketing and sales training; as well as human resource planning and management. Organizational behavior and strategic planning for growth in the digital arena are areas of particular interest to him.

Randy Donaldson
B.B.A. in Accounting, Georgia State University
M.B.A. in Accounting, Georgia State University
C.P.A. licensed in Georgia
Business Consultant in Gainesville

Mr. Donaldson joined the SBDC after a successful 34-year career in financial management with large multi-national corporations in Atlanta. He began his career at Oxford Industries, Inc. as a Staff Accountant and moved up through the ranks as Corporate Accounting Manager and Tax Manager. Most recently, Mr. Donaldson was the Tax Director and Treasurer for Lanier Worldwide, Inc., an international office equipment distributor and subsidiary of Ricoh Company Ltd. (Japan). With his extensive corporate background, he has a particular interest in QuickBooks accounting software consulting as well as financial analysis and business management.

Program Coodinator

Dede Gossage
B.S. Economics, University of Georgia Southern
M.B.A. in Accounting, Georgia State University
M.S.O.L. Breanu University
Program Coordinator in Gainesville

Dede Gossage is the Program Coordinator for Gainesville Center with the Georgia Small Business Development Center Network. Her areas of specialty include; Internet marketing, advanced communications, business development, copy write specialist and strategic regional partnerships. Mrs. Gossage has over 10 years’ experience in Communications, Business Development and Advancement oversight. She currently serves on several boards and committees including the Advisory Board of the White County Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Committee for the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. In 2009, Mrs. Gossage was recognized as Small Business Woman of the Year by the Lanier Chapter of the American Business Woman’s Association. She was also awarded the 2014 GA SBDC Support Staff Award. She has a genuine interest in marketing and communications and supports the Gainesville SBDC area office with business education programming. She earned a Masters in Organizational Leadership from Brenau University in 2010.



"We knew all we needed to know as domestic distributors, but we had no direct knowledge of the foreign customer," says Nut Tree Pecan’s Francis "Putt" Wetherbee, who attended the Georgia SBDC’s ExportGA class and found "it was a great experience."

- Francis "Putt" Wetherbee, president

News Releases

  • October 2nd, 2014

    Small Business Owners: Make your voice heard!

    The Atlanta Fed, in partnership with the Cleveland, New York, and Philadelphia Federal Reserve Banks, is conducting a survey of small business owners/managers. They want to hear from you about the current business climate, your financing needs and credit experiences.

    Take the Survery

  • September 17th, 2014

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  • May 2th, 2014

    Register for National Small Business Week Webinars

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  • April 29th, 2014

    Small Business Award Winners

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