Small Business Center clients include Wayne Acree, Affordable Technology Repair, LLC; Ivy Williams, Scentual Candles; Megan Oteri, Brick Scholars, LLC; Crystal Wall, licensed massage and bodywork therapist; and Braxton Price, Elm City Auto Service.
Recent Small Business Center clients include, front row, from left, Sandy Hernandez, Taste of Texas, LLC; Melissa Mincey, Wilson Police Department, Police Athletics/Activities League, Inc.; Crystal Barber, Education Exchange, LLC; Christina Parker, Global 1 Consulting, LLC; and B.G. Nestor, Wilson Police Department, Police Athletics/Activities League, Inc. In back are Tonchelle Lucas, WomanUp Empowering Women & Girls, Inc.; Guy Whimper, Guy Whimper Coaching Services, LLC; Glenn Plummer, Preserving Freedom Gun Shop, LLC; Erica Bradley, Sassy Diggers and Flippers; and Lorraine Ruffin, Tax Prep Services. Not pictured are Rhonda Ellis, Rhonda’s Gems; Jamie Reyes, Reyes Auto Sales; Johnathan Barnes, BarNew Media, LLC.
For the Times
During the 2015-16 academic year, Wilson Community College’s Small Business Center had a record year with 48 SBC clients or seminar attendees each successfully starting a new business. These new entrepreneurs and existing business owners found guidance from the SBC, which included research, business feasibility and funding resources.
“Whenever I had doubts or questions, I always had the SBC by my side to give me suggestions, provide valuable information and experience, and guide me in the right direction,” said SBC client and business owner Crystal Barber. “I will always appreciate the help I have received and the confidence I have gained through the support from Melissa Evans, SBC director. Education Exchange LLC would still be a dream if she had not been there to give me that first push to make it all happen.”
Potential and existing business owners are encouraged to seek support through the SBC, where services are free for the initial consultation, ongoing counseling and seminar opportunities.
“All client relationships and discussions are kept confidential,” Evans said.
She said most of the SBC clients find significant value in the seminars, which helps to grow their entrepreneurial skills.
“Scaffolded instruction provided a multitude of resources and built upon previous seminars to support and grow Brick Scholars LLC,” said client Megan Oteri.
With Evans’ guidance, clients learn about business taxes, labor laws, bookkeeping, marketing, legal issues and business financing. The most successful clients complete a business plan and if proven feasible, take guided steps to secure funding and register with appropriate authorities before conducting business.
The goal of the SBC is to assist start-up and existing entrepreneurs with steps to encourage their success through viable businesses, which generate economic impact through job creation and retention. SBC client Christina Parker said the SBC helped her effectively market Global 1 Consulting LLC and retain customers, “all of which increased my client base by approximately 60 percent.”
The SBC is state-funded, which means there is no cost to participants. Potential or existing business owners can visit www.wilsoncc.edu/coned/sbc.cfm to register for counseling or seminars or contact Melissa Evans, SBC director, at 252-246-1232 or Lisa Morgan, SBC administrative secretary, at 252-246-1209.
Information for this story was provided by Wilson Community College.