Larry Batten, an Economic Development Specialist from the U. S. Small Business Administration, addressed a group of local entrepreneurs recently at Gypsy’s Café in Philippi.

The breakfast workshop was sponsored by the Barbour County Chamber of Commerce to assist small business owners in the community.

Batten, himself a small-business owner, explained the problems and principles of managing risk for those in business.  The objective, he said, is to “identify common risks associated with business, the external and internal factors which effect risk, and the situations which may cause risk.  Businesses need to know the common warning signs and learn to implement, monitor, and evaluate a risk management plan for their business,” he said.

There are several key points to remember, Batten told the group.  “You should assess the risks by compiling a list of events and resources involved with the business which could impact continued operations and cash flow.  Continuity should be part of an overall business plan.  Risk strategies,” he said, “include communication, setting expectations, support systems, staff training, insurance, assessment, and contingency planning.  An exit strategy is vitally important,” he said.

Batten may be reached at the West Virginia District Office of the U. S. Small Business Administration at 320 West Pike Street in Clarksburg, by calling 623-3631, or on-line at