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Credo offers one-stop shop for entrepreneurs


$25K in financial services awarded to local business



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Dan Lucas (click for larger version)

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Laura Curtis and Paris Retana have been awarded $25,000 to start their dream project. (click for larger version)

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The Credo Financial staff has grown over the years. (click for larger version)

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The Malvi is a product that Laura Curtis developed to redefine the s'more. (click for larger version)

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September 29, 2013
ALPHARETTA, Ga. — For small businesses with a good idea to get off the ground, there may be a lot of minutiae that they need to work through.

There are taxes, creating corporation, asset valuations, real estate and risk management just to name a few.

Is your head spinning yet?

Dan Lucas, managing director for Alpharetta-based Credo, has been able to offer a one-stop shop for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

"I just saw huge gaps in the market in the accounting industry," Lucas said. "I felt it was very fragmented. You get a lot of people providing CFO services or tax services or accounting services, but the right hand was never talking to the left hand and there was a lot of conflicting advice from different people."

To promote his services to entrepreneurs ready to take the leap into business owners, Credo held a national contest to award $5,000 in cash and $20,000 in services.

"I thought we were going to get small-type business for this contest, but these are all serious people," Lucas said. "The contest is partially who has the best business, but also who is the best fit for us."

Word spread fast and soon Credo, located 11175 Cicero Drive, Suite 100 in Alpharetta, was getting entries not only from Georgia but from New York, New Jersey, Chicago and South Carolina, and one of the finalists was from North Carolina.

After sifting through dozens of applicants, 10 finalists were selected and on Sept. 30, a Forsyth County-based business called Malvi won.

"We're going to help them setting up their business, all of their tax planning, their tax returns all of their accounting and raising money," Lucas said. "We will be taking all of the money function and handling that for them so they can focus on sales and growing their business."

A nonprofit winner was also announced — Stockbridge, Ga.-based Bridgeway Youth Program.

Bridgeway will receive pro bono donations and chief financial officer services for a one-year period.

Malvi is the creation of local chef Laura Curtis, who aims to redefine the marshmallow sandwich and give a new take on the s'more. Curtis said she hopes to open her own bakery soon.

"We're just having fun," said Lucas, of Johns Creek.

In December, all the contest finalists will get to pitch their services to investors, Lucas said.

Credo was started in 2004 as a part-time certified financial officer company. In 2008, things began to really take off, Lucas said.

The company has branched out to offer taxation services, accounting CFO, along with valuation services.

"We've added over 10 employees and quadrupled revenues," Lucas said.

Lucas, a member of C-12, a group of Christian CEOs and owners, also operates his company under "Biblical principles."

"My faith is really important to me and I just wanted to have a faith-based company," Lucas said. "It's really hard to do unless you start your own thing, so it made sense to do this on my own."

For more, visit www.credofinance.com or call 678-242-5230.

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