Free business financial fundamentals class to be held online

BAR HARBOR — A free online one-hour class aims to focus on financial fundamentals and give participants a tool that shows how to achieve profitability in a few clicks without complex math or troublesome spreadsheets.

Four Steps to Unlocking Profits in 2024, presented by College of the Atlantic in collaboration with Profit Decoder, is focused on helping small businesses thrive. The class is set for 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9. To register, visit

The class is part of Profit Decoder’s Cultivating Community series, which gives entrepreneurs the tools and skills to succeed. COA and Profit Decoder want to give small business owners the knowledge and skills to understand their financials and counter the number one reason for small business failure — a lack of financial engagement.

“Small businesses from bakers to graphic designers make up the backbone of our communities, and without these local enterprises, our communities would cease to exist as they are,” said Profit Decoder cofounder Jordan Motzkin, a 2010 graduate of COA, according to a news release from Rob Levin, COA director of communications. “Impacting each of these small businesses has a positive multiplier effect, including hiring employees, keeping Main Street active and improving rural community wellbeing.”

The impact of these small businesses is immense, according to the Small Business Administration. In 2019, the SBA reports, small businesses accounted for two-thirds of net new jobs and 44% of economic activity. This is economic activity that stays in the local community, according to the American Independent Business Alliance, which says that local businesses generate four times the impact of chain stores. Every dollar spent in these businesses generates an additional $1.43 in local spending, creating jobs and strengthening community infrastructure, the AIBA reports.

But being a small business is tough work. A study from the University of South Florida reports that 86% of small businesses don’t review financial statements. This lack of financial engagement is the number one reason for small business failure.

“Business owners often feel overwhelmed, scared, and confused by accounting terminology. Owners can resort to guessing about critical decisions and hope all will be okay,” Motzkin says. “Four Steps to Unlocking Profits in 2024 counters these issues by providing local business owners the tools and skills to prosper.”

This program is being held in partnership with Profit Decoder as well as Mount Desert 365, Heart of Ellsworth, and UpStart Maine. Maine Community Foundation is sponsoring this program, and all participants receive a free Profit Decoder subscription for a year, a $149 value.


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