The annual business plan competition is back on November 12, 2019!


Making Marion a Regional Magnet for Small Business Ownership and Entrepreneurial Activity


To promote the startup and expansion of Small Businesses in Marion, by providing high quality training and mentorship to entrepreneurs.

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Our Story

The Forge was founded in 2017. Our goal is to support small business and entrepreneurs in Marion, OH. As we grow, the goal is to make The Forge an asset to the community, a place where ideas transform.

Leadership Class of 2017

Through the Marion Area Chamber’s leadership program, 27 of us from all different backgrounds came together and worked to create The Forge. We wanted to make a difference for small business in Marion, OH.

The Business Classes

Marion Technical College developed our business classes to best fit the needs of small business entrepreneurs. During the classes you will build your business plan.

The classes at Marion Technical College are open to  The Forge’s Business Plan Competition applicants and other community members. These classes are meant to be a resource for the whole community.

Class Schedule

Classes are held from 6:30-8:30 PM in the Marion Technical College Health Technology Center Room Auditorium

Introduction | September 17

Meet your fellow classmates, instructor Scott Hughes, and The Forge team. Learn about the class expectations, the different topics, and get a feel for the next several weeks.

The Development of the Business Plan | September 24

A business plan is written to determine feasibility, serve as a basis for financing, and as a road map for operating your business after opening.

TBA | October 1


Developing a Cash Flow Projection | October 8

This class will assist in compiling a cash flow projection which will serve then as an operating budget. Your cash flow projection is a measure of feasibility and liquidity of the business.

Financing the Business | October 15

This class reviews credit analysis, the different sources of capital, and explores the loan application process. The class will cover both private and public sources of financing.

Business Record Keeping | October 22

This class is a review of the different business record keeping systems. This class will also focus on the compilation and interpretation of different basic business reports.

Marketing and Advertising | October 29

Nothing good happens until someone sells something. This class will assist in different essential processes like evaluating the competition, selection of advertising methods, how to present to the customer, and creating a budget for these activities.

Annual Business Plan Competition

November 12, 2019

Part 1

Participate in the business classes beginning on September 17th. Use these classes as support through the creation of your business plan.

Part 2

Complete and polish a business plan and prepare to present your finished plan to a panel of judges.

Part 3

Present your final business plan in the competition and get feedback and support from other local entrepreneurs. 

Community Resources


For over 50 years, SCORE has served as America’s premier source of free business mentoring and education.

Chamber of Commerce

The Marion Area Chamber of Commerce is an association of businesses providing leadership for improvement of the economic prosperity and quality of life of the Marion area.

Marion Public Library

Visit the library for internet and software access on public computers and have staff assist you with research and business related information.

Small Business Development Centers

Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the United States and its territories. SBDCs help entrepreneurs realize the dream of business ownership and help existing businesses remain competitive in a complex, ever-changing global marketplace.

Use your Marion Public Library card to access a catalog of small business, management, and software courses. No card? Stop by the library to sign up.

Get Answers

Marion Public Library Logo

A big part of your small business journey will require finding the right solutions when confronted with an obstacle. The Marion Public Library has created a few curated lists of authoritative resources to help with your business.

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