BizSuccess Tips
August 2020
Taking the time to plan is crucial, now more than ever, if you're planning to start or pivot your business. Entrepreneurs who have business plans are  twice as likely to obtain capital  and more likely to grow than entrepreneurs who don’t.
As you contemplate reopening or bringing your business to full time, there are a number of things you must do immediately and others you should decide at a later date. Learn more about SMART goals.
The economic slump is affecting businesses at all levels, spurring companies to get creative about retaining customers. Get actionable tips on how to increase sales. Read these insightful tips.
Protect your business from disasters, theft and more with this checklist to identify and minimize risk. The checklist includes several ways to prepare and protect your business. Read the checklist.
Take the Power of Women and Young Professionals Insights Survey

To better understand the needs of the professional women and young professionals in our region, the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance need your help. Please take a few minutes to complete the short surveys below to improve and enrich the region in which we work, live and play.

Take the surveys by August 5, 2020
Upcoming Local Workshops and Information
In-Person Events Are Suspended;
SCORE Charlotte Online Support Is Available

The health of small business owners, their employees and our Mentors is our top priority. A ll SCORE chapters across the country have suspended in-person events, including mentoring sessions and workshops, until further notice.

Mentoring Sessions

Mentors are available to participate in remote mentoring sessions via phone, email and video. If you already have a SCORE mentor, ask them if you can use a remote mentoring method for your sessions. If you don’t already have a mentor, you can request a business mentor today . Our Intake Team will get your request and contact you.

Local Workshops - Simple Steps are virtual
Business Growth Workshops are BACK!
Sign up TODAY!
First part of the Simple Steps Workshop Series;
Is Starting a Business Right for You?

Is Starting a Business Right for You? Start-up Basics: This is an introductory workshop.

Start-up Basics: This introductory workshop focuses on the basics of testing your business idea and identifying the key factors that influence start-up success. Start-up Basics provides you with an overview of the skills and tools you need when deciding to start a business. In this session, you learn about: the advantages and disadvantages of owning a business, the most profitable form for your business, and the fundamentals of formation, organization, marketing, cash flow and funding sources.
Virtual Simple Steps for Starting Your Business Workshop #1
Time: 12:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Date: August 5
Registration ends: August 4
This will be conducted as a Zoom meeting.
The Zoom link will be sent via email prior to the event.
Virtual Simple Steps for Starting Your Business Workshop #1
Time: 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Date: August 13
Registration ends: August 12
This will be conducted as a Zoom meeting.
The Zoom link will be sent via email prior to the event.
Virtual Simple Steps for Starting Your Business Workshop #1
Time: 12:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Date: August 19
Registration ends: August 18
This will be conducted as a Zoom meeting.
The Zoom link will be sent via email prior to the event.
Virtual Simple Steps for Starting Your Business Workshop #1
Time: 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Date: Sept 12
Registration ends: Sept 11
This will be conducted as a Zoom meeting.
The Zoom link will be sent via email prior to the event.
Virtual Simple Steps for Starting Your Business Workshop #1
Time: 12:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Date: Sept 16
Registration ends: Sept 15
This will be conducted as a Zoom meeting.
The Zoom link will be sent via email prior to the event.
Virtual Simple Steps for Starting Your Business Workshop #1
Time: 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Date: Sept 30
Registration ends: Sept 29
This will be conducted as a Zoom meeting.
The Zoom link will be sent via email prior to the event.
Second part of the Simple Steps Workshop Series;
Next Steps To; Is Starting a Business Right for You?

Next Steps To; Is Starting a Business Right for You?

Attend this comprehensive four part series of workshops to help you test your new business idea and gets you started on the right path. Free one-to-one counseling is also a part of the workshop process. Join us for 4 three-hour sessions that help you understand the basics of:
  • the concepts involved with assessing a business idea,
  • marketing your product or service,
  • understanding business financials and how they work, and
  • how to fund and finance your business. 
Session 2: Business Concept
Session 3: Marketing Plan
Session 4: Financial Projections
Session 5: Funding Sources and Next Steps

Attend all four sessions for $150.00. 
(Additional people from the same company are an additional $50.00 each. Contact danny.fischer@scorevolunteer.org for discount code)
Virtual Simple Steps for Starting Your Business Workshop Series #2-5
Time: 12:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Date: Sept 15, 22, 29, Oct 6
Registration ends: Sept 14
This will be conducted as a Zoom meeting.
The Zoom link will be sent via email prior to the event.
Virtual Simple Steps for Starting Your Business Workshop Series #2-5
Time: 5:45 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Date: Nov 3, 10, 17, 24
Registration ends: Nov 2
This will be conducted as a Zoom meeting.
The Zoom link will be sent via email prior to the event.
Business Growth Workshop Series Webinars
Make do-it-yourself videos easier, more effective and break through the social media algorithms!

Date: 28-Jul-2020
Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
ZOOM Webinar
(Zoom Link will be sent prior to the event)
This is a FREE event

Social Media Techniques You Can Use Today
*Publishing on LinkedIn
*Video on Facebook or Instagram
*Content Ideas

You'll get insights for promoting any business in a way that attracts customers to your unique story.
Guest Speaker:
Leigh Brown is the President at Leigh Brown Thomas Brown, Inc.

About Leigh Brown:
Many know Leigh for her accomplishments as a highly successful REALTOR® and a best-selling author. She is an award winning educator and influencer. She is an innovative CEO and a must-see keynote speaker. She actively educates professionals in every realm of business leadership and relationships. Leigh has a passion for motivating those around her to want more. She has worked with all ranges of the professional spectrum – from new to the trade rookies to CEOs of massively successful brands. It is her ability to articulate complex concepts in ways that everyone can relate to that makes her leadership so impactful.
Date: 12-Aug-2020
Time: 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
ZOOM Webinar
(Zoom Link will be sent prior to the event)
This is a FREE event

In this workshop, we will discuss how to structure the budget and how it goes beyond the numbers. Developing a financial model and/or budget can be overwhelming, but understanding what you're truly trying to accomplish with make this exercise a much simpler and enjoyable effort.
Guest Speaker:
Cassmer Ward is the Consulting Partner at Nexagy, Inc.

About Cassmer Ward:
Cassmer Ward: Serial Entrepreneur | CFO of the Year | Author
Serial entrepreneur, Adjunct Professor at Queens University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Entrepreneurial Leadership Council at the university, hosts Influencing Entrepreneurs, and offers this content for free on YouTube to help aspiring entrepreneurs learn what it takes to find success. Authored the book, “How Much Does It Cost to Make a Donut? And Other Questions That Make Us Hate Accounting” in an effort to educate small business owners with practical accounting knowledge that they can apply to their own businesses. Cass earned his North Carolina Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license..
Coronavirus Support
The Paycheck Protection Program resumed accepting applications July 6, 2020, at 9:00 AM EDT in response to President Trump signing the program's extension legislation. The new deadline to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan is August 8, 2020.

Full Forgiveness Applications for the
Paycheck Protection Program


Below are additional links to assist with the application and calculation process:
Empowered Women Empower Women

Since its inception, Spanx and The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation have been dedicated to elevating and supporting women through entrepreneurship. Knowing the ripple effect that empowering women can have to strengthen communities, the foundation donated $5 million to support female entrepreneurs in the wake of COVID-19 and teamed up with GlobalGiving to establish The Red Backpack Fund. GlobalGiving is making at least 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the impact of the crisis. The fund is open to public donation, so anyone can partner with us to bolster these businesses in their hour of need.

The Red Backpack Fund application portal will next open from August 3-10. Sign up to be notified by email when the application portal opens. Please note, eligible applications from previous grant rounds will be rolled over and considered in this round.
Small Business Recovery Program

This grant program is part of the City for Charlotte’s  Open for Business  initiative and will distribute $30 million in federal CARES Act funding to small businesses throughout Charlotte. Foundation For The Carolinas serves as the City’s grant making partner for this effort. More information will be available on the  Foundation For The Carolinas webpage
The grant application will be available through July 31. .
For a complete list of criteria and to apply, visit fftc.org/CLTcitygrant . Contact cltcitygrant@fftc.org or 704.998.6499 for assistance.

Helpful TIps when filling out the application:
  • Make sure the EIN or SSN on the application matches the W-9
  • When entering your EIN or SSN don't use dashes
  • Legal documents provided must be signed and executed. It should be a signed lease or W-9 for example
  • The business name and the DBA name if used, must match across documents
  • The business address must match across documents
COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Stabilization Loan Fund
Mecklenburg County has committed $5 million for this fund, which is for businesses with up to 50 employees. Those companies can apply for loans of $5,000 to $35,000, which can cover expenses like payroll, utilities, rent, and equipment. The loans will be available for up to 10-year terms with an interest rate of 3%. You can find the application here .
Micro Business Stabilization Fund
Another new program from Mecklenburg County, this fund is for even smaller small businesses, ones with five or fewer employees. The county has set aside $1 million of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds for this program, and each business can apply for loans up to $10,000. Businesses can use these loans for routine expenses, such as payroll, rent, and utilities. The loans have a maturity of three years at 0% interest. You can find the application here .
NC Covid-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program
The Golden LEAF Foundation has set aside $15 million for  a loan program  designed for North Carolina businesses that have suffered economic losses because of COVID-19. Businesses can take out loans of up to $50,000 with 0% interest and no payments for six months. If the loan is not repaid within six months, the loan will convert into a term loan. There is no cap on the number of employees applying businesses must have, a foundation spokeswoman says. There’s been significant demand for the program, and state officials are  considering  adding more money to it.


Upcoming Certification Changes
In summer 2020, the certification process for Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs) and Economically Disadvantaged WOSBs (EDWOSBs) will change as put forth by Congress in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
 
The SBA expects that the regulations enacting the statutory requirement will be published on June 30, 2020, and will be effective 30 days later.
Once the changes go into effect:
·    You will no longer be able to self-certify as a WOSB or EDWOSB.
·     You will have to either certify through an  approved third-party entity  or go through SBA’s FREE online certification at  certify.sba.gov .
 
Review the  SBA’s latest FAQ  and  certification options table  for more information.
We will provide regular updates on this page and you also can contact your local  SBA regional and district office  or  Women’s Business Center  with questions.
 
Free Resource for Covid Legal Issues
UPCOMING Partner Programs - Subject to Change
Catawba Chamber
A group of local founders, mentors and entrepreneurial resources proudly hosts a monthly “Founder’s Meet-Up”.

First Wednesday of each month
Time: 5:30PM – 7:30PM. 
UPCOMING NATIONAL WEBINARS

July 30 | 1 PM ET
Sponsored by Constant Contact . Tangible takeaways to get your website up and running with the essential pages you need to get yourself online.
August 6 | 1 PM ET
Sponsored by Progressive Commercial Insurance. Whether you’ve already reopened or will be opening this summer, August will be an ideal time to assess and develop a strategic plan for the rest of the year.

August 11 |11 AM ET
A virtual assistant can be a valuable asset for any business but especially when resources are scarce and access to funds is limited, such as during the current pandemic.
August 13 | 1 PM ET
Sponsored by Progressive Commercial Insurance. Learn the key aspects of a SWOT analysis, how it fits into your business's strategic plan, and develop an understanding of doing this for your business.

August 20 | 1 PM ET
Sponsored by Deluxe. In trying times, you may be looking to close or sell a business. This session will share key considerations for the process of closing your business.
August 25 | 1 PM ET
Sponsored by Constant Contact . Running virtual events can be challenging, however with a little preparation, tips, and knowing what to expect, you can rock your next virtual event.
What you Might Have Missed
Browse Our Webinars
Did you miss a live SCORE webinar?
You can view the recordings online anytime. Watch and learn at your convenience.
Score helps YOU succeed!
Find Your Business Mentor
Get Business Advice
Talk to a SCORE mentor for expert answers to any of your business questions - no question is too big or too small.
Get Advice from SCORE Mentors Live in our Real-Time Mentoring Platform
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-5 pm
 
Chat with business mentors, get free resources and information from popular companies, and participate in online peer support discussions. Brought to you by SCORE and Constant Contact.
Register to access this virtual, live mentoring platform at no cost.
 Join when convenient for you.
Small Business Resilience Hub
Small business owners are resilient and can power through this challenging time, with SCORE by their side. Don't miss out on the latest resources, training and mentoring opportunities to help you survive and thrive. Visit the Hub
Book a Librarian - Business Research (Virtual)
Book a 1-hour time slot for a 1-on-1 video call with a librarian!
Learn how you can access the library's online business resources including directories, databases with demographics, mapping tools, market and industry reports, and more.

Registration Note: A valid email address is required in order to receive instructions before the meeting.
These are available Monday - Friday, 11:00am-noon.

Questions or assistance:
Mimi Curlee, Librarian
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library 
Information Services - Main Library
704-416-0106
SBA Lender Match Program
Tool for Small Businesses to Connect with
CDFIs, Small Asset Lenders Participating in PPP
Lender Match is a  free tool  that takes the mystery out of getting an SBA-backed loan and streamlines the process. 

Finding the right lender and finding the time to obtain a loan can be the biggest challenge for prospective borrowers. Lender Match solves this problem.
 
This free online referral tool connects small business borrowers with participating SBA lenders.
The future is upon us, and the SBA is proud to be leading the way. To learn more about Lender Match visit  www.sba.gov
SCORE Charlotte Local Sponsors and Partners
Helping entrepreneurs find the best franchise opportunities. At FranNet Carolina, they partner with aspiring entrepreneurs and individuals interested in becoming business owners.

Through their free consulting services, their consultants will provide the valuable research and guidance necessary to feel truly confident in your decision.

Your Charlotte Mecklenburg Library understands that the key to successful business management and healthy growth is convenient and swift access to the best resources. They provide reference services and library resources to help the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area businesses succeed. 
 
Their Mission: To improve lives and build a stronger community.


Mimi Curlee, Librarian
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library - Main
Find and Reach Your Ideal Audience
The advertising solutions you need to engage the right customers and grow your business.




At MassMutual Carolinas, they listen closely to gain a thorough understanding of your goals and your dreams. They then provide you with guidance and expertise to help you make sound financial decisions that can help protect your future. They also help you protect your most important assets - your family.
Headquartered in Charlotte, MassMutual Carolinas has been a Carolina tradition of excellence and industry leadership since 1890.
For more than 100 years, customers have trusted First Citizens Bank with their money ... and their futures. 

First Citizens Bank. Forever First®.
IBM is a global technology and innovation company. IBM offers a wide range of technology and consulting services; a broad portfolio of middleware for collaboration, predictive analytics, software development and systems management; and the world's most advanced servers and supercomputers.

SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. We have been doing this for more than 50 years. 

Because our work is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, and thanks to our network of 10,000+ volunteers, we are able to deliver our services at no charge or at a very low cost.
 
Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.
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