With support from Wells Fargo, Piedmont Community College’s (PCC) Small Business Center (SBC) will empower small business owners through the new BOOST, Building Opportunities on Saving and Training, grant program.

The $15,000 grant will provide financial incentives for new and existing small business owners to attend valuable business seminars (at no charge) through PCC’s Small Business Center, part of the NC Small Business Center Network. In return, the Small Business Center will match the owner’s savings, up to $1,000, to fund inventory for a new product line, build an online presence for eCommerce, buy a new piece of equipment, or various other projects.

This program is designed to assist with developing business skills and improving equity investment for each qualified participant.

“Piedmont Community College’s BOOST Program is a reflection of Wells Fargo’s longtime commitment to small business growth, investing in economic advancement, and prioritizing the needs of our community. At Wells Fargo, we understand the value and impact of small businesses and we’re proud to foster business development and expansion for small business owners,” shares Suzie Koonce, Senior Consultant, Wells Fargo Corporate Philanthropy & Community Relations- Triangle and Eastern North Carolina.

To qualify for PCC’s BOOST program, small businesses must:
1. Submit an application;
2. Complete three designated training seminars presented by PCC’s Small Business Center at no cost;
3. Show evidence of dedicated savings of up to $1,000 to apply toward the stated business purpose (as submitted in the application).

Through these measures, the goal of PCC’s SBC is to help businesses develop the skills and capacity to succeed, increasing the potential for new jobs, and growing the economy in our community. SBC assistance includes training, one-on-one counseling, and providing resources, and networking opportunities.

Scott Keen, Director of PCC’s Small Business Center, notes, “Entrepreneurs consistently indicate that two of the largest challenges they face in starting or expanding a business are possessing the ever-evolving skills needed to run a business and having the cold, hard cash to back them up. The Small Business Center at Piedmont Community College, in collaboration with great community partners such as Wells Fargo, takes direct aim at these challenges through the BOOST program.”

Keen went on to say, “We believe in entrepreneurs and in helping them achieve their dreams. Supporting them with training, mentoring, and matching cash grants is just one way PCC’s Small Business Center shows it!”

In an effort to obtain measurable results from the BOOST program, PCC’s SBC has entered into a groundbreaking, collaborative relationship with the Carolina Small Business Development Fund (CSBDF).

While the Small Business Center offers technical and operational expertise relating to small business development and the BOOST program, CSBDF specializes in data collection and analysis. This data collection measures results, contributes toward community entrepreneurial ecosystem development, and informs policy level decisions centered on the BOOST program.

Currently, the SBC and CSBDF are producing a case study for publication and legislative use to include pre- and post-intervention measures for the BOOST program.

Best practices gleaned from this study will be refined in order to measure the success of the BOOST program more effectively, benchmarking its outcomes in business and job creation, economic impact, and community development. The outcomes measured through the SBC and CSBDF’s joint analytical efforts will be used for demonstrating local economic impact and for improving and expanding the BOOST program in order to aid even greater numbers of local entrepreneurs.

About Wells Fargo:
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.98 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.

About PCC’s Small Business Center:
PCC’s SBC is part of the NC Small Business Center Network, which helps start an average of 700 business per year and works to create and retain over 3,800 jobs annually for North Carolina. This network ranks #1 in the U.S. for total business seminars and participants, most of which are provided at no cost to the public.

PCC’s SBC works closely with the Person and Caswell County Chambers of Commerce and the Uptown Roxboro Group through event collaboration, promotion, and board representation.

As active partners with the Economic Development Commissions in both Person and Caswell counties, as well as Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments, PCC’s SBC advocates small business interests to local governments, city planners, and local industry groups.

Each year, the Small Business Center Team, led by Scott Keen, offers a myriad of free small business seminar both face-to-face and online. To learn more, contact Scott at (336) 322-2484 or scott.keen@piedmontcc.edu or visit www.piedmontcc.edu/sbc.

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