HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Local small business owners and those ready to open their new business can soon get much-needed training — for free.

This opportunity is thanks to a $350,000 grant from the Catalyst Center for Business and Entrepreneurship.

Drake State Community and Technical College received the money to start a free program with customized coaching, business training, and networking opportunities, especially for low-income and minority entrepreneurs.

“We’re excited to do our part and so we see this as an investment and we feel strongly the return on the investment for our community will be more businesses, stronger businesses, and better-trained workers,” said Dr. Patricia Sims, Drake State’s president.

The grant is for one year but can be renewed to keep the training going for up to five years.

The program’s start date is not available at this time.