LOM learns about benefits, resources at TSBDC

The Tennessee Small Business Development Center is a great resource for our members, Locally Owned Murfreesboro President Gretchen Bilbro said after the nonprofit’s May 4 meeting.

“The center offers great services from which all of our members can benefit,” Bilbro said. “We are looking forward to working more with the TSBDC in the future.”

LOM and TSBDC came together for breakfast and to learn about new director of the TSBDC, Chris Swoner, and the free resources and courses are offered by the center.

During the meeting, Swoner explained the TSBDC can provide advice to independent businesses in all stages of development.

“Clients will come in for one problem but, after talking, we can get to the root of the problem and come up with a plan,” Swoner said.

For start-ups, the grant-funded center business offers business plan development, financial planning assistance, marketing plan development, developing sources of capital and social media guidance.

The Murfreesboro office also provides existing business assistance like business growth planning, government contracting guidance and international trade guidance, sources of capital.

The only things the center can’t help with is taxes and legal issues. But it does partner with other experts in the community to offer specialized courses.

“The courses we offer are based on client need,” he said, adding if a client asked for a class, they can find someone to teach it.

He explained the center is sponsored by MTSU’s Jones College of Business and all staff is faculty of the university.

“Our counselors have four-year business degree and five years of practical experience. Many of our directors have 20 years of practical experience,” Swoner said.

June classes include:

Swoner returns to Middle Tennessee after spending a decade working for Blizzard Entertainment in Irvine, Cali., where he started as a customer service representative and worked his way up to network operations technician and eventually the global network operations center associate manager.

Blizzard develops and operates the popular games like StarCraft, Diablo and Warcraft, including the mass multiplayer online role playing game World of Warcraft.


An affiliate of the American Independent Business Alliance, Locally Owned Murfreesboro was formed in 2016.

The nonprofit is an organization of independent local business owners dedicated to promoting the benefits supporting independent businesses to the community and building a stronger local economy by joining together in marketing, government advocacy and networking.

Because Murfreesboro Matters.

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