Are you the owner of a small business hit hard by Roy Cooper’s mandated restrictions?
You can learn how to navigate these tough times, thanks to Brad Rivers, director of the Gaston College Small Business Center. According to college spokeswoman Stephanie Michael Pickett, Rivers is offering free consulting to help those in business stay in business by recovering and rebuilding during this time of State-enforced restrictions re the COVID-19 (or corona virus disease, 2019).
“Small business is the economic backbone of the North Carolina economy,” Pickett said this week. “But like many businesses around the state, small businesses in Gaston and Lincoln Counties are facing unprecedented challenges.”
To that end, she added, the Gaston College Small Business Center has funds available to provide free confidential consulting services to small businesses in Gaston and Lincoln Counties that are experiencing restriction-related economic hardships. Nearly $3 million in special allocation funding was approved by the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges to support the Small Business Center Network, which is part of the N.C. Community College System. The SBCN is comprised of 60 small business centers housed at 58 community colleges around the state. For more than 35 years, the SBCN has helped start businesses, create and retain jobs and support economic development and wealth creation for the state.
Each of the small business centers received more than $50,000 to provide additional counseling to assist businesses. Any small business in Gaston or Lincoln counties is eligible for the program, as Rivers noted.
“In Gaston County,” he said, “there are over 900 small businesses with fewer than 50 employees who rely primarily on foot traffic to generate revenue. Their customer base remains low as the general public follows shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, this has left many businesses vulnerable, with some facing financial instability or worse.”
Counseling services will be available on a first-come-first serve basis. They include general business guidance; assessing the economic impact of the restrictions upon your business; strategies for scaling business operations; break-even and cash flow analysis; marketing assistance; and a review of financial obligations and planning communications with creditors.
“These additional funds will help us give more in-depth counseling services than we ordinarily could provide,” said Rivers, “such as Website support, technology guidance, sales and customer retention, developing new revenue streams, PPA forgiveness, and CPA’s and attorneys to help with loan compliance or other accounting and legal issues.”
To learn more, call (704) 922-6447.
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