BizSuccess Tips
November 2020
If you’ve guided your small business through the COVID-19 pandemic thus far, you’ve likely learned valuable lessons about business resilience and adaptation. However, even businesses that are now able to sustain a steady cash flow might be wondering how to better prepare for whatever comes next. Read the Article
A pop-up storefront provides a multitude of benefits including meeting your customers where they are. See how this technique can help your small business. Find out if a pop-up shop is right for you.
We’ve asked 12 small business leaders how important having a website is to them and what opportunities it has created for their organizations. Learn how a website can take your business to the next level.
Two Upcoming Business Growth Workshops

Tue Dec 8 from 12:30pm - 2:30 pm
and
Considering business ownership? Ready to leave employment behind? Want to start a business while employed?

This No Cost event is for anyone that wants to:
create their own corporate ladder; start a business while employed; enjoy career independence; build equity in their own business; learn about franchises expanding in their markets; hear about business financing options

Preregistration is required. NOTE: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Presenter: Mike Hall

Tue Dec 10 from 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
It's time you take control of your business like never before. If you’ve ever found yourself in February and your goals are already a distant memory or you’re disappointed as you look back in December on what you didn’t accomplish (but had planned to), you aren’t alone. Goals shouldn’t be that way. Don't get caught up in typical goal setting practices...it's time to reverse your goals and watch them come alive! Stacey Brown Randall of the Goal Finishers Club will walk you through a process to see your goals in a whole new way. Her clients amaze themselves on what they are able to accomplish following her Reverse Goal Setting process.
 
Here’s what you’ll learn during this session:
  • Set goals that actually matter and provide a direction to where you want to go long-term
  • Connect your goals to your why… giving you a better chance to actually accomplish them
  • Identify major milestones, layout your roadmap and create your action plan (so crushing your goals actually happen!)

Presenter: Stacey Brown Randall
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. All 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: Nov 18
Registration ends: Nov 17
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: 5:45 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.
Date: Dec 1
Registration ends: Nov 30
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: Dec 3
Registration ends: Dec 2
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: Jan 6
Registration ends: Jan 5
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: Jan 12
Registration ends: Jan 11
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 or your SCORE mentor for discount code)
Virtual Simple Steps for Starting Your Business Workshop Series #2-5
Time: 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Date: Jan 7, 14, 21, 28 2021
Registration ends: Jan 6
This will be conducted as a Zoom meeting.
The Zoom link will be sent via email prior to the event.
UPCOMING Programs - Subject to Change
A virtual assistant provides administrative, technical or creative assistance to a range of clients, usually from home. If you’ve been out of the work force or want a job with more flexibility and variety, becoming a VA may be for you. In this fast-paced session, long-time virtual assistant Belinda Wasser will discuss what’s involved and the steps necessary to move into this growing field.
This is a FREE virtual event presented in partnership by Southeastern CT chapter of SCORE. Zoom link will be sent prior to event.
Workshop presenter Belinda Wasser is a business workflow and productivity expert with 25 years of experience. Founder of RocketGirl Solutions, Belinda is hired by small businesses on a contract basis to act as their part-time "business manager." In addition, she is the founder of the VA Connection, a professional online community with the goal of educating and connecting independent virtual assistants around the world.
Pre-registration is required.
NOTE: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Find Your Competitive Advantage

Tue Nov 17
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
To get customers and grow, your business must distinguish itself from competition in some meaningful way, so customers choose to buy from you. As Jack Welsh famously said, "If you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete." This webinar will help you understand competitive advantage and define yours - be it location, brand name, innovation, customer service or something else. You will gain insight into how to leverage your competitive advantage to stand out in your marketplace.
This event is Free.
About our Instructor: 
Randi Luoto, has 35+ years of experience in marketing, consumer research and competitive intelligence. As research director or manager, she has led many research teams and projects for major corporations; she holds a "green belt" certification in Six Sigma process improvement methodology. She is a former chapter chair and past assistant district director at SCORE.
NOTE: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Power of Women Virtual Luncheon
Where Are We Now? Surviving and Thriving Through Covid-19

Thurs Nov 19
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
The world around us has changed. There is no doubt that 2020 has been unlike anything we have experienced. Professional women have been adversely affected with unemployment skyrocketing. For some, challenges have created unique opportunities. For many, we are figuring things out as we go.
For our final Power of Women virtual luncheon of the year, we've invited back many of the speakers you've heard from this year to recap our conversations and learn how they have survived and how they are learning to thrive during COVID-19. How have we changed? What's better? What's still challenging? What have we learned? How do we position ourselves for the future? 
NOTE: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
During this session, you'll hear from:
PANELISTS AND THEIR FEATURED SESSIONS:
Stacy Cassio, Pink Mentor Network - "Sharing the Real"
Ericka Ellis-Stewart, Mental Health America of Central Carolinas - "Work Life Balance During Disruption"
Danielle Frazier, Charlotte Works - "Pathway to C-Suite"
Simone Rixey, Wells Fargo - "Racial Equity & Inclusion"

Special Guest Speakers:
Janet LaBar, Charlotte Regional Business Alliance - "Parenting Through COVID-19"
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews, Asfalis Advisors - "Preparing for What Comes Next"

MODERATOR:
Monifa Drayton, Executive Coach
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: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm 
Coronavirus Support
City of Charlotte Launches the Resilient ReUp Program
The City of Charlotte on Thursday announced the launch of the Resilient ReUp program to provide structured programming and one-on-one coaching to help small business stabilize and overcome current and future business disruptions due to COVID 19.
Business owners with questions about this program or the application can contact Vanessa Mathews at vmathews@asfalisadvisors.com or 833-238-4763.
Carolina Small Business Development Fund Partners with the City of Charlotte to
Educate and Empower Charlotte Small Businesses
All City of Charlotte small businesses are eligible to receive an actionable recovery plan and business support services if they complete a Business Needs Assessment. Businesses that complete the assessment will receive a $10 reward and gain access to a library of 15 virtual courses. Businesses that complete at least one training will be entered into a lottery to receive a small business resource or tool tailored to their specific needs valued up to $500.
 
The program will be administered by CSBDF. For more information about the program, visit https://carolinasmallbusiness.org/initiatives/city-of-charlotte-covid-19-program/.
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.
SBA Resources
North Carolina State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Offerings through 2021
Are you with a small-to-medium sized business (500 or fewer employees) that currently exports or is interested in exporting? Would you like to learn how to access a grant program that reimburses eligible companies up to $48,000, over two years, for a variety of export focused initiatives? If so, be sure to join this informative webinar to learn more.
 
The STEP Program export assistance funds include:
1. Booth reimbursement up to $5,000
2. Travel reimbursement up to $3,000
3. Export Services reimbursements up to $16,000
 
During this webinar we will discuss eligibility requirements, qualifying activities, timelines, and approval and reimbursement processes. Additionally, we will discuss the international trade team and help you identify with whom to connect to learn more.

Additional SBA offerings

  • Disaster funds and taxes…… This IRS Notice 2020-32 provides guidance regarding the deductibility for Federal income tax purposes of certain otherwise deductible expenses incurred in a taxpayer’s trade or business when the taxpayer receives a loan (covered loan) pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program under section 7(a)(36) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(a)(36)). Specifically, this notice clarifies that no deduction is allowed under the Internal Revenue Code (Code) for an expense that is otherwise deductible if the payment of the expense results in forgiveness of a covered loan pursuant to section 1106(b) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Public Law 116-136, 134 Stat. 281, 286-93 (March 27, 2020) and the income associated with the forgiveness is excluded from gross income for purposes of the Code pursuant to section 1106(i) of the CARES Act.   Source: www.irs.gov – IRS Notice 20-32


  • The Recycling Business Assistance Center (RBAC) is now accepting applications for 2021 Recycling Business Development Grant projects. Grants of up to $40,000 (or even $60,000 if a priority project) are available to private business or non-profits to help build capacity and reduce the flow of solid waste to disposal facilities and encourage the sustainable recovery of materials from North Carolina’s waste stream.  To achieve that purpose, RBAC seeks viable, well-planned and effective proposals from recycling businesses in North Carolina wanting to start or expand recovery efforts.

  • Hosted by the North Carolina District Office - Webinars for Small Business Federal Certification - Second Tuesdays of the Month; 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Learn about the SBA’s contracting assistance programs and gain a competitive edge from the federal certifications you may be eligible for.  PDF attached.
  • November 10, 2020 – Woman-Owned Small Business Program  
  • December 8, 2020 – 8(a) Business Development Program  
  • January 12, 2021 – HUBZone Program  
  • February 9, 2021 – Various Small Business Certification Programs  
  • March 9, 2021 – 8(a) Business Development Program
Business Book Recommendation by SCORE Mentor: Steve Imke (Colorado Springs)
Check out this business book written by Ryan Levesque, titled "Ask: The Counterintuitive Online Formula to Discover Exactly What Your Customers Want to Buy...Create a Mass of Raving Fans...and Take Any Business to the Next Level". Learn why Steve thinks this is an important read. Read More
UPCOMING NATIONAL WEBINARS
November 17 | 1 PM ET
During this webinar, you'll walk through the steps of how to set up Google Analytics so you can start getting data from your own website.
November 19 | 1 PM ET
Best practices and strategies for small business owners to address D&I issues during these times of unprecedented change, civil unrest, and social upheaval.
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.
Small Business Resource Centers
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.

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.


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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