Ogeechee Technical College vice president for Economic Development, Lori Durden, recently participated in an exploratory study, the results of which were published in the "Journal of Management Policy and Practice."
Entitled "Isolating Relevant Policy Issues: Exploration of Small Business Bankruptcies in Georgia," the article's introduction states, "Bankruptcies in Georgia have been ranked near the top in the country, even among larger and less economically healthy states." Durden co-authored the study and its resulting article with Gwen F. Hanks and Suzanne Barnett of the University of Georgia, and Wendy Woodrum of Georgia Southern University.
"Georgia lenders were polled to determine their perceptions and opinions on business bankruptcies. We collected data from 50 Georgia bankers," Durden said.
With a long history in small business development, Durden has vast experience in determining what it takes to start and maintain a small business.
"Obviously understanding why a small business gets to the point of bankruptcy is important to me," she said. "Understanding the path to bankruptcy may allow me to advise someone away from the pitfalls that result in financial disaster."
In her role as vice president for Economic Development, Durden assists local industries and businesses with training and development needs. According to Durden, she can utilize information learned from the study in developing seminars and other business related educational offerings for local businesses.
"We want to allow businesses in our area to be proactive in maintaining good fiscal health," Durden said.
She said questions posed to the lenders in the survey for the study included: What are the main causes of bankruptcy that you are currently seeing?; do certain industries seem to be more prone to bankruptcy? If so, which ones?; and based on your experiences, what recommendations would you make to businesses in order to avoid bankruptcy?
Causes of bankruptcy, as expressed by the lenders participating in the survey included; weak management, competitive pressures, personal finances, and overall economic conditions, according to Durden.
"Participating in a study such as this, and helping compile and report information, is a great way for me to stay abreast of current issues, and be more capable of providing relevant information to our local businesses and industries," she said. "It was also a pleasure working with colleagues from UGA and GSU. I think our collaborative efforts produced some interesting information."
The Journal of Management Policy and Practice is published by the North American Business Press, which has offices in Toronto, Miami, and Seattle. Each issue covers a variety of topics related to business policy and management.