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When it comes to small business and entrepreneurship, there is not one set of directions for success. The Center for Business and Economic Development (CBED) at Georgia Southwestern State University, housed in the School of Business Administration, is here to assist in developing an individual road map for success.  The CBED provides support services to existing and potential business, economic development agencies, and local governments who are in the area served by Georgia Southwestern.  These services and assistance include conducting and dissemination of business and economic research, consulting services, training and development of staff, workforce, and management.

Activities of the CBED are undertaken by faculty of the School of Business Administration, Center staff, and students working under faculty guidance and supervision.  These activities provide students with experience beyond the classroom and create an opportunity for the professional and technical capabilities resident in the university to be made available to the larger community.

A key goal is to provide assistance close to where you live. Help can be as simple as answering a question about compliance over the phone or as comprehensive as having several one-on-one meetings with a counselor to turn your idea into a profitable business. Many of the services are free, and all are aimed at helping you either start a small business or improve your current one.

The GSW CBED consulting programs provide one-on-one services to business start-ups and existing businesses focusing on feasibility studies, market research, surveys, business plan development, loan packaging, operational assistance, procurement assistance, manufacturing, management, problem solving, and information technology.

One-on-One Consulting covers areas such as:

  • Business expansion
  • Starting a Business
  • Feasibility analysis and studies
  • Advertising/sales
  • Financial analysis
  • Loan packaging
  • Record Keeping systems
  • Exit planning
  • E-commerce
  • Website development and analysis

Make the choice to call on GSW CBED. It's an investment that's well worth your time and could put you on a path to greater success than you ever thought possible.


Gaynor Cheokas

Dr. Cheokas currently serves as Director for the Center of Business and Economic Development at Georgia Southwestern State University housed in the School of Business Administration.  In this capacity she consults one-on-one with entrepreneurs, provides support services to economic development agencies, and local governments.  These services and assistance include conducting and dissemination of business and economic research, consulting services, and training and development of staff, workforce and management.  Her area of interests is assisting small business maximize their marketing investment by developing specialized plans.  

Before joining GSW, Dr. Cheokas served as Area Director in Americus for the Small Business Development Center network of Georgia.  She also worked 21 years in the retail industry and brings an extensive background in multi-unit retail management.  As Director of Stores for The Tog Shop, Inc., she was responsible for the planning and management of all retail interest owned and operated by The Tog Shop.  She planned and implemented promotional programs to achieve projected annual sales, planned and administered budgets, and tailored merchandising plans for each location.  She has extensive knowledge and experience in marketing, customer service, and small business management.  She is a graduate of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development and is a member of Board of Examiners for the Georgia Oglethorpe Award.  Additional, she is a Yellow Belt Six Sigma Champion.  In the future she plans to complete Six Sigma Black Belt certification which will further enhance her qualifications as a process management specialist.

In addition, Dr. Cheokas remains active in her community; currently serving Executive Board of the Americus Rotary Club. She is married to Mike Cheokas and they have three children, Brittany, Athan, and Lexie.

Dr. Cheokas has a B.S. in Political Science from Columbus State University, a M.S.A. in Business Administration from Georgia Southwestern State University, and a D.B.A. in Business Administration from Georgia State University

Dr. Gaynor Cheokas
School of Business Administration
Office: Business 212
Phone: 229-931-2726

Service Area

The service area for the GSW-CBED includes Sumter and surrounding counties: Webster, Marion, Schley, Macon, Dooly, and Crisp.  Dr. Cheokas continues to serve as a liaison for the School of Business in the GSW service area.  She attends chamber meetings in Sumter, Schley, and Crisp counties. She is currently serving on the Small Business Committee of the Americus Chamber. All activities further enhance the reputation of the Center, expand the economic impact upon the region, and connect the community at large with resources available at Georgia Southwestern State University.

Resource Partners
Quarterly Advancement and Impact Reports

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