The Small Business Center Network of the NC Community College System has reached a significant milestone by marking 40 years of dedicated support to small businesses throughout North Carolina. Recently, a Small Business Day event was held in Raleigh, N.C. to celebrate this achievement.

As a proud member of the Small Business Center Network of North Carolina (SBCN), the Small Business Center at Wilkes Community College diligently serves as an invaluable resource for both new and established small business owners. Our center offers confidential, personalized business coaching, a wide range of seminars, workshops, and access to a resource center, all at minimal or no cost.

The primary objective of the SBCN is to elevate the success rate and bolster the presence of sustainable small businesses in North Carolina. This is achieved through the provision of high-quality, easily accessible assistance to aspiring and current small business proprietors, consequently fostering job creation and retention.

“Small businesses are vital to the strength and prosperity of our community. They create jobs, spur innovation, and give neighborhoods their unique charter,” states Laurie Brintle-Jarvis, SBC Director at Wilkes Community College. “We are truly fortunate to have the Wilkes Community College Small Business Center as an invaluable resource supporting entrepreneurs at any stage – from startups to established businesses looking to grow. With expert guidance and training, the center empowers our small businesses to thrive and keeps our community’s economic engine running strong.”

“At the Alleghany County Chamber, we aspire to offer our community inspiration, application, and opportunity,” stated Larry VanHoose, Executive Director, Alleghany Chamber of Commerce. “With the typical, limited resources of a small, mountain community, we couldn’t achieve this without the help of WCC. Through their partnership, we can consistently help small businesses by providing them with many of the necessary resources and tools to achieve their aspirations. We are extremely grateful to Laurie and the WCC Small Business Center for their invaluable assistance.”

Entrepreneur and owner of Zincseed, Stacey Diehl stated, “When starting a new business, you wish you had friends who are experts in all the little details that you have no experience in like creating a Google Business Profile, seeing what insurance you need, or adding social media links to your website. For me, accessing the services provided by the WCC Small Business Center has been extremely helpful in starting my small business.”

LeeAnn Nixon, the Executive Director of the Wilkes Economic Development Corporation, expressed the organization’s recognition of the Wilkes Small Business Center (SBC) as a crucial partner in promoting entrepreneurship in Wilkes County. The SBC consistently supports the Wilkes EDC’s Entrepreneur Grant Program, a biannual initiative benefiting small businesses in Wilkes. Nixon mentioned that program applicants are often encouraged to seek assistance from Laurie Brintle-Jarvis, the Director at the SBC. Furthermore, Nixon highlighted the partnership between Wilkes EDC and the SBC in organizing the Wilkes Entrepreneur Network’s monthly meetings, which provide local entrepreneurs with opportunities to stay engaged, access resources, and build connections.

About the Small Business Center Network

Created in 1984 when the North Carolina General Assembly funded eight SBCs, the Small Business Center Network (SBCN) had expanded to include at least one SBC at each community college by 1995. Each year, the centers assist in starting an average of 650 businesses and help create and retain more than 3,000 jobs. Today, with more than 60 sites, the Small Business Center Network is known as the most expansive state-funded technical small business assistance program in the United States with locations within a 30-minute drive of almost every North Carolinian.

Photo from Small Business Day Event l-r: Morgan Wood, SBC Director, Mayland Community College; Anne Shaw, SBCN State Director, NCCCS; Jaycie Beam, Business Counselor; Carmela Tomlinson, SBC Director, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute; and Laurie Brintle-Jarvis, SBC Director, Wilkes Community College.