Business owners graduate from Macon-Bibb Contractor Academy


MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -“The start up was not easy,” said Angie Cline. She started her business, Central Computer Services from the ground up.

“The community needed somebody to go to, and I wanted to be that somebody,” said Cline.

Three years later, Cline helps people all over Middle Georgia fix and maintain their computers. But she felt like she could do more. So she signed up for the Macon-Bibb Contractor Academy.

“The Contractor Academy was able to give me direction for the business and which way to grow it and how to get our there and how to network,” said Cline.

After eight months of classes, Angie and 36 other business owners graduated from The Contractor Academy. The ceremony was held Wednesday morning at the Historic Macon Terminal Station.

“I’m just very pleased,” said Dr. James Bumpus, with the Office of Small Business Affairs .”Very satisfied with what we’ve been able to do here in Macon-Bibb County.”

Bumpus came up with the idea to help small business owners in the community.

“We thought it was important for us to provide an opportunity for small business owners to have access to critical information that would allow their business to grow and to build capacity,” said Bumpus.

It would not have been possible without the State Bank and the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center.

“It is a huge economic impact to not only our community, but the state of Georgia and the United States, and certainly globally,” said Dan Forrester with State Bank. “We want to be a part of that at State Bank.”

State Bank sponsored scholarships for business owners to take classes.

“It’s having a significant benefit already,” said Bumpus. “These small business owners have been awarded contracts in the government sector as well as private sectors. Some of them are partnering together and working together.”

Cline is one of those business owners. Through the academy she got more work.

“I was invited to the job fair through Dr. Bumpus and got a contract,” said Cline. “I was the first one in the group to get a contract.”

She will now work with the Bibb County Board of Education and it’s all thanks to the academy.

“It has helped to grow me and my business,” said Cline.

There is a second class planned to start in September. If you want to apply for scholarship to attend the program, click here.