December 2015
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Gourmet apples bring profit and joy

Lucy Avalos has concocted the perfect treat . Her gourmet apples are a feast for the eyes and the palate. Backed by a loyal customer base, Lucy plans to take a bigger bite out of the local market with Lucy's Gourmet Apples.  
Seven years ago Avalos was a stay-at-home mom looking for ways to make extra cash. When she saw pictures of gourmet apples in Women's World magazine, her crafty side thought: "I can do that." 
After lots of experimentation, she arrived upon her signature treat-a sumptuous blend of Granny Smith apple, homemade caramel and rich chocolate. She devised four specialty flavors-Heath, Apple Pie, Sweet and Salty (dark chocolate with sea salt), and Coconut.

Get Certified and Grow
Getting your business certified opens doors. And open doors lead to business growth, says Erik Johnson, business consultant at the University of Toledo's Minority Business Development Center.
Government agencies and many businesses have diversity initiatives embedded into their supply chain, explains Johnson. This means they are motivated to buy products and services from businesses that are owned by minority or disadvantaged individuals.
Portia Ash 
Northwest Ohio MBAC Director 
Be savvy with business finances
The holidays seem to bring out the best and worst in people when it comes to money management. Some people overspend and go into debt. Others shop for deals and stick to a budget. As a small business owner-especially one just starting out-you need to adopt the traits of a savvy holiday shopper. When it comes to managing your business finances, be organized, be frugal, and stick to a plan.
Teresa Smith, business development manager at the Lucas County Port Authority, has spent her entire career helping small business owners make smart financial decisions. She offers the following advice for staying on the right track.

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