Everybody’s business

Legal eagle Shelton

Legal eagle Shelton

Biz books
The Butte County Library is teeming with business tomes, thanks to a grant from the California State Library.

Besides copies of books such as How to Write a Business Plan, the library has acquired rights to use subscription databases that provide access to business-related articles and other services (go to http://smallbiz.infopeople.org/).

I just used my library card number to access ReferenceUSA and found owners’ names, estimated sales and credit rating (“excellent,” “very good”) for Chico businesses large and small. This could come in handy!

“People walk into the library all the time because they want to start a business, but they don’t know where to begin,” said Nancy Leek, a reference librarian in the Chico branch.

Business owners may remember the survey the library sent out last year as part of the grant. Leek said, “We’re still trying to spread the word” that the materials are in.

The books are filed amid the regular stacks (remember your Dewey Decimal System, folks.) There are also materials in the Oroville, Gridley and Paradise branches.

And, Leek added, “it’s all free, of course.”

Good old SAGE
Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) is at it again, hosting a tournament that will bring 16 high school teams from across the state to the Chico State University campus on April 2 to compete in the areas of entrepreneurship and community service.

In SAGE, which stands for Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship, students work on year-long business projects, culminating in a multimedia presentation. Local business and civic leaders, including Chico Mayor Scott Gruendl, will judge the competition.

The winning team will advance to the national contest in August.

But wait, there’s more. Also on April 2, about 100 fifth- through eighth-graders will sell products at a trade fair in Acker Gym. Alongside them will be sold imported goods from Poland, China, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Ghana, Mexico, South Africa and the Ukraine, where SIFE has partner teams.

“Our SIFE students get the chance to help our partner universities in other countries by selling samples of their crafts,” said Accounting Professor Curt DeBerg, who advises SIFE and founded SAGE. “This will help us identify products that may be in great demand in Northern California.”

Online law
Sandusky Shelton, who lives near tiny Portola, in Plumas County, had long thought of going to law school, but those in Sacramento and even Chico’s Northern California School of the Law were a long commute away.

Enter Concord Law School, offering studies online at www.concordlawschool.edu. The school’s publicist called us to brag on Shelton.

Taking the courses, Shelton worked at her own pace and joined professor-led online chats with fellow students. “You actually get more personal interaction,” she said. “Everyone gets to answer [the professor].”

Shelton graduated with the school’s first class in 2002 and passed the State Bar exam on her first try, in June 2003. She has since landed work in the juvenile dependency field.

“Compared to a brick-and-mortar school it’s a very good deal,” Sandusky said of the full course of study, which now costs $30,000. “It’s a wonderful opportunity.”