Small businesses are the economic backbone of North Carolina with 97% of all businesses in the state employing less than 500 people. In rural North Carolina, where 75% of small businesses have fewer than ten employees, these communities are disproportionately challenged by lower wealth, less population, and fewer jobs overall. Consequently, they are harder hit when crisis strikes.

The Wilkes Community College Small Business Center is committed now more than ever to help businesses get back on their feet and encouraging new businesses to take advantage of emerging opportunities. In a program designed to reboot, recover, and rebuild, the small business center will be offering professional service grants to help a small business that has been affected by COVID-19. Some of the areas that counselors can assist with are:

• COVID-19 business guidance and planning
• Strategies for business operations
• CPA/legal support
• Marketing planning
• Business resilience strategies
• Financial/bookkeeping planning
• Loan package preparation
• Grant and funding research for businesses and non-profits

WCC Small Business Center Director, Laurie Brintle-Jarvis states, “We want businesses to know that we are here for our small businesses as they face economic challenges brought on by the COVID -19 pandemic and want to offer assistance as they move forward.”

For businesses who would like to take advantage of this professional services grant, you may contact Laurie Brintle-Jarvis, WCC Small Business Director, at 336-838-6166 lsbrintle336@wilkescc.edu.

About the NC Small Business Center Network

The Small Business Center Network (SBCN), part of the North Carolina Community College System, with a Small Business Center located at each of the System’s 58 local colleges is positioned to focus on entrepreneurship, small business and economic development with an emphasis on assisting start-ups, early-stage, and businesses seeking disaster assistance or seeking to stabilize. For more than 36 years, the SBCN has been helping to start businesses and create and retain jobs, supporting the most critical aspects of economic development and wealth creation for the state.