PAOLA – Local residents looking to start their own business or grow an existing one can get some free advice during an upcoming information session at the Paola Free Library.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) - Kansas City District Office (KCDO) is hosting a series of small business assistance informational sessions across multiple counties in Kansas and Missouri.

Participants will learn about free resources available through the U.S. Small Business Administration to help them plan, launch, manage and grow their businesses. Entrepreneurial development, access to small business funding, government contracting, surety bonding, small business certifications and disaster recovery are some of the topics that will be covered, according to a news release.

Paola is one of nine cities in Kansas scheduled to host an event, along with Atchison, Columbus, Erie, Independence, Oskaloosa, Oswego, Ottawa and Wamego.

Events are also scheduled to take place in 12 cities in Missouri.

The Paola event is titled “How to Start/Grow a Business,” and it will take place from noon to 1 p.m. May 17 at the Paola Free Library, located at 101 E. Peoria St.

“These are taxpayer funded programs, and every county could benefit from these programs,” said Kansas City Deputy District Director Dennis Larkin. “It is a shared responsibility of every citizen in each of these counties to learn about these programs and take advantage of them. The SBA KCDO is always available to help facilitate the learning experience.”

The Kansas City District SBA Office of the SBA serves 61 counties in western Missouri and 28 in eastern Kansas and oversees a branch office in Springfield, Mo, according to the release.

Interested residents can register for the event by searching for it at

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