JAMESTOWN, N.C. – The Small Business Center Network of the North Carolina Community College System is celebrating 30 years of providing support and assistance to small businesses and start-ups across North Carolina. Small Business Centers (SBCs) are located at each of the state’s 58 community colleges, providing confidential business counseling and seminars to small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Created in1984 when the North Carolina General Assembly funded 14 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.
“The GTCC Small Business Center is just one example of the many ways that the college is meeting business needs in the community,” said GTCC President Dr. Randy Parker. “The SBC plays an important role in providing entrepreneurs with the best resources to start their business in Guilford County, which leads to new job creation and a positive impact on the county’s economic growth.”
The mission of the Small Business Centers is to increase the success rate and number of viable small businesses in North Carolina by providing high quality, readily accessible assistance to prospective and existing small business owners, with the goal of job creation and retention.
Over the last year, the GTCC SBC has:
- Cultivated 33 new businesses
- Created 50 new jobs
- Retained 115 jobs
- And trained 2,037 entrepreneurs and business owners through SBC seminars.
“Guilford County has a storied history of entrepreneurial activity,” said Mark Hagenbuch, director of the GTCC Small Business Center. “For the past 30 years, the GTCC Small Business Center has been an active advocate, champion and resource for local entrepreneurs and small business owners. Through our pragmatic training programs and confidential counseling, the SBC has supported increased economic development in Guilford County.”
One organization that has benefitted from the GTCC SBC is the Greensboro Community Development Fund (GCDF), a nonprofit that provides debt financing to minority- or female-owned businesses in the Greensboro area. In 2013, the GTCC SBC collaborated with GCDF and the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce to create the Business Readiness Certificate program, a series designed to teach best practices to new businesses and companies.
“Working with the Small Business Center has been priceless,” said Jerome Gray, executive director of the Greensboro Community Development Fund. “They were excited to help the Greensboro Community Development Fund expound upon the concept and collaborate with the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce to make it happen. Without the GTCC SBC, I wouldn’t have a way to register participants online, market the program, create a central location to meet and be able to measure impact. It was a win-win for everyone involved.”
The GTCC SBC operates offices at two locations: the High Point Chamber of Commerce, 1634 N. Main St., High Point; and The Nussbaum Center, 1451 S. Elm Eugene St., Suite 1201, Greensboro.
For more information, visit http://bit.ly/SBC_GTCC or call (336) 334-4822 ext. 62001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guilford Technical Community College is the third largest of 58 institutions in the NC Community College System. GTCC serves approximately 45,000 students annually from four major campuses and three specialized centers. Learn more at www.gtcc.edu.
Published Dec. 16, 2014