BizSuccess Tips
September 2020
What is Labor Day and Why do we celebrate it?
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
As an alternative to loans, some small business owners are opting to withdraw money from their savings to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are considering this approach, read advice from Kristin Andreski, SVP and General Manager of ADP Retirement Services.
We asked 11 thought leaders to share the ways in which small businesses can get free publicity. Learn about different publicity tactics that won’t put a dent in your budget.
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.
Sell Online This Holiday Season With E-Commerce Tools
Save the Date and Time
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
12:00PM - 1:00PM ET
Info coming soon!
National Small Business Week
September 22-24
The virtual event, rescheduled from May due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be held September 22-24. National Small Business Week honors the nation’s small businesses, many of which are veteran, women and minority-owned, for their achievements and dedication to their communities.
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: 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.
Grow With Google Marketing Webinars
Don’t Miss These Official Grow With Google Marketing Webinars Designed to Grow Your Business During These Uncertain Times.
Register Today for September, October and November
SCORE NC has partnered with the Grow With Google team to present these free webinars designed to grow your business during COVID-19 and beyond.
 
Now more than ever, businesses and nonprofits need to know how to reach and engage with customers online - to continue to generate leads, make sales, and grow revenue. Led by Grow With Google Trainer Demming Bass, these are “can’t miss” webinars customized with ideas and strategies on how to market online during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
 
As a bonus, ALL attendees will receive up to $150 in Google Matching Ad Credit (first-time users) to immediately market their business or nonprofit. 
 
Attendees will walk away with free tools, a proven plan, and messaging strategies they can implement immediately - no matter their level of marketing "know-how" or expertise. But hurry! Spots are limited and will go fast.
Learn how your business can be found online with Google. This workshop explains how Google Search works and how you can improve a website's visibility with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The session also introduces products like Google My Business, Google Trends, Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Ads, and more.
 
In this webinar, you will learn how to:
·      Create a free Google My Business profile and how to engage with customers
·      Improve your website’s visibility in Google’s organic search results, on all devices
·      Implement simple, but effective, best practices for content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing - especially during the COVID-19 crisis
·       Advertise your business through Google via Smart Campaigns (and the perfect ad formula)

Thursday, September 10: 9 am - 10 am EST
 
Friday, October 1: 9 am - 10 am EST - SCORE NC
Are your online marketing, website, email and social media campaigns working for you? Are they making or costing you money? Do you even know? This presentation will show how data and analytics can help businesses gain insight into how consumers engage with them online. We’ll offer tips for using Google Analytics to analyze customer trends and provide best practices for turning these insights into well-informed, actionable decisions.
 
In this webinar we’ll talk about:
·      Identifying business goals (and how you plan to use your online presence to achieve them)
·      Incorporating data into your plan and how to find actionable insights in customer patterns and trends
·      Selecting the best tools to help you find the answers you need
·      Demystifying Google Analytics and learn how to make it work for you
                                             
Wednesday, October 7: 11 am - Noon EST     
 
Friday, October 23: 11 am - Noon EST - SCORE NC

Video marketing is highly effective in boosting brand awareness, generating leads, increasing sales, and connecting with your audience. YouTube reaches 91% of the online population in the US. Today, when people want to know how to do something, they often turn to YouTube first. Get best practices for creating a YouTube Channel and compelling video content that promotes your products and services and drives engagement with your brand. Best of all - anyone can accomplish all of this at little to no cost and little to no experience with technology or video production. We’ll show you how!
 
In this webinar, you’ll learn how to:
·       Create and brand a home/channel for your business on YouTube
·       Create videos that capture the audience and achieve your business goals
·       Organize your channel to attract viewers interested in your product/service
·       Promote your business with video (even to those with short attention spans)
·       How to stream video with YouTube Live and grow your customer base.
 
Thursday, October 29: 9 am - 10 am EST - SCORE NC

Explore Google My Business, a free tool for local businesses that want to connect with customers on Google Search and Maps. This is a deeper dive into Google My Business profiles and a great follow-up webinar to Reach Customers Online with Google.
 
In this webinar you’ll learn:
·      Why an accurate up-to-date Google My Business Profile is critical in today’s economy
·      How to attract and engage customers and turn them into raving fans
·      A step-by-step guide to creating and verifying the perfect Google My Business profile
 
Friday, October 30: 9 am - 10 am EST - SCORE NC

Learn how to create a search-friendly website that drives user action and supports your goals. Whether you’re launching a new website or sprucing up an old one, this workshop will help. 
 
In this webinar, you’ll learn the six characteristics of a great website and how to ensure your website is:
·      Goal-oriented to increase conversions and calls to action
·      Organized and easy-to-search to reduce bounce rates
·      Useful so visitors come back again and again
·      It’s functional, so customers see real value - leading to loyalty
·      Intuitive to use, on any device, so visitors stay
·      Findable by search engines so you show up at the right place, time, and device
 
Thursday, November 5: 9 am - 10 am EST - SCORE NC

Coronavirus Support
Soon there will be an additional source of financial relief for small business owners in Mecklenburg County whose businesses have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. 

Applications will be accepted for the MeckCounty CARES Small Business Relief Grant beginning on Monday, September 14, 2020. 

The grant is made possible thanks to CARES Act funding awarded to the County.
The County has allocated $1.25 million to continue financial support to small businesses during the pandemic.The MeckCounty CARES Small Business Relief Grant will provide up to $25,000 per business located in the any of the six towns or unincorporated areas of the County.
Grant amounts are contingent upon business size and availability.
In order to apply - the small business must:
  • Have 50 employees or less
  • Be located in one of the six towns or unincorporated areas of Mecklenburg County 
  • Registered with the NC Secretary of State prior to Jan. 1, 2020
  • Demonstrate that business was adversely impacted by COVID-19

The funds may be used for working capital, lease payments, existing real owner-occupied commercial estate mortgage and equipment financing payments and covering payroll shortage.

Funds may not be used to pay off unrelated COVID-19 Expenses.

There will be no application, grant processing, or grant documentation fees. Applications will be accepted until Nov. 27, 2020 or until funds have been dispersed.
In addition, financial assistance is still available for small businesses who do not meet the above criteria through the County's Small Business Stabilization Loan Fund and the Microbusiness Stabilization Fund.
Continue to monitor MeckNC.gov to for updates.
Heading Here
Program Overview
To mitigate the economic impacts caused by COVID-19 for Mecklenburg County's most vulnerable businesses, the County has committed $1,000,000 of readily available, federal CDBG funds to create the Microbusiness Stabilization Fund. Read the FAQ here.

  • The Microbusiness Stabilization Fund provides loans in amounts up to $10,000 to qualifying businesses.
  • The business must have a physical location within the Towns of Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews or Pineville or be located in an ETJ/unincorporated areas of Mecklenburg County. 
  • This program is for any microbusiness with no more than five (5) employees impacted by coronavirus/COVID-19.
  • The Microbusiness Stabilization Fund will be available on a first-come, first-served basis until funds have been exhausted. If approved, disbursements will be available within 10 days of receipt of the application.
  • The program is managed through Centralina Council of Governments (CCOG), which currently administers the County’s CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) program.
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/

Carolina Small Business Development Fund se asocia con la ciudad de Charlotte para Educar y capacitar a las pequeñas empresas de Charlotte
Todas las pequeñas empresas de la ciudad de Charlotte son elegibles para recibir un plan de recuperación y servicios de apoyo comercial si completan una evaluación de necesidades comerciales. Las empresas que completen la evaluación recibirán una recompensa de $ 10 y obtendrán acceso a una biblioteca de 15 cursos virtuales. Las empresas que completen al menos un entrenamiento se ingresarán en una lotería para recibir un recurso o herramienta para pequeñas empresas adaptada a sus necesidades específicas valorada en hasta $ 500. 
 
El programa será administrado por CSBDF. Para obtener más información sobre el programa, visite https://carolinasmallbusiness.org/initiatives/programa-de-la-ciudad-de-charlotte/
Let's Talk Business:
Reignite North Carolina Series
Bob Burton, SCORE Charlotte, Certified Mentor will be a panelist on the 4th Series on Wed Sept 16 at 9 am to 10:30 am.
SBA Alert:
The U. S. Small Business Administration Warns Loan Applicants to Beware of Email Phishing Scams
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.
Free Resources
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
September 8 | 1 PM ET
Nilson L. Goes's story will inspire, educate, and motivate anyone struggling to start and grow a business.
September 10 | 1 PM ET
If you are looking to create a side hustle or main hustle with an online business, then this is the webinar for you.
September 17 | 1 PM ET
Sponsored by Trend Micro.
In April 2020, the FBI reported an almost 300% increase in cybercrime cases. Unfortunately, small businesses are the most vulnerable targets.
September 22 | 1 PM ET
Tips for identifying the challenges with current software, evaluating multiple products, and accurately calculating the total cost of adopting new technology.
September 29 | 1 PM ET
When we don't feel rested and energized it directly impacts our life and our business. If you want to ramp up your impact today, it starts by getting sleep.
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 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.




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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