The Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads, Inc. (SBDC), an affiliate of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, has received a grant from the Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, Inc., in the amount of $23,000 for its Small Business Recovery program. This grant will allow the SBDC to further its outreach to the small business community in the City of Franklin, as well as Southampton and Isle of Wight Counties, who have been and will continue to be impacted by the announced closure of the International Paper Plant.
It is anticipated that over 1,400 people will lose their jobs at International Paper and an additional 2,000 or more in the businesses surrounding the plant will be impacted. During the next year, the grant money will be used to provide resources to current small business owners and potential new small businesses. The SBDC will provide a series of seven “e-books” which will be accessed from the SBDC website. Titles include: “The Plan,” “Managing Cash,” “Buying and Selling a Small Business,” “Understanding Where You Stand,” “Your Place in the Marketplace,” “Understanding Commercial Lending,” and “Small Business Report Card.” In addition, the SBDC will conduct a series of Profit Mastery courses for the area’s small business owners. Information in these courses will be essential for small business owners to determine new business models for their operations. The SBDC will partner with the Virginia Electronic Commerce Technology Center to conduct a series of e-commerce related courses to increase awareness of ways to expand customer outreach beyond the local area.
Jim Carroll, Vice President of Small Business for the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and SBDC Executive Director, said “We are thrilled to have received this grant from the Verizon Foundation and will be able to better assist the small business community in Franklin and Isle of Wight and Southampton Counties react to and potentially recover from the impact of the closure of the International Paper plant.” Carroll added, “The SBDC will continue to work in cooperation with the Franklin/Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce, Isle of Wight-Smithfield-Windsor Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Departments, and other institutions to assist in recovery efforts following the plant closure.”
“Verizon is honored to assist the SBDC in providing the necessary funding for the small businesses and give them the opportunity to have a new start and a new beginning,” said Laura Barnes, Area Manager for Verizon.
For more about the SBDC, visit www.hrsbdc.org.