This post was provided to us by Neil McTighe from the UNC-CH branch of the NC Small Business & Technology Development Center.
The spread of the novel coronavirus has disrupted the lives of billions and had an enormous impact on businesses nationwide. Businesses have been forced to close their doors, lay off staff, transition to remote work, switch to online sales, and so much more.
Now that North Carolina has begun easing restrictions, the Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) is here to help businesses adjust to the “new normal.”
The SBTDC is a business and technology extension program of the UNC System, administered by NC State University and operated in partnership with the US Small Business Administration. The SBTDC’s business counselors assist small and mid-sized businesses throughout North Carolina with 16 offices across the state.
In March, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security (CARES) Act, which included a $5 million appropriation to the SBTDC to increase COVID-19 related business management services and resources available to North Carolina’s small and mid-sized businesses.
This increase in funding will allow the SBTDC to bring on at least 13 Business Resiliency Counselors that will be stationed across the state’s 10 regional centers, including one at the Central Carolina region’s office in Chapel Hill. The region’s Business Resiliency Counselor, a resident of Alamance County, came on board in mid-July.
These counselors are solely focused on helping North Carolina’s small and mid-sized businesses recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19. They can help business owners apply for relevant grants and loans, navigate the intricacies of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness, cut expenses to improve cash flow, refocus marketing efforts, etc.
The additional funding provided by the CARES Act will also allow the SBTDC to fund 150 training events at Small Business Centers (SBCs) across the state. Through a partnership with the SBTDC, the Alamance Community College’s Small Business Center will host three of these training events in the coming months, which will be focused on business resiliency and recovery.
COVID-19 is an unprecedented crisis that has forced the business community to adapt to changing conditions over the past several months. However, the SBTDC has a long history of helping businesses recover from disasters and has been identified as a “first responder” for business recovery in the state’s disaster recovery plan. With additional staffing and resources at their disposal, the SBTDC is prepared to assist small businesses as they navigate the recovery process.
The SBTDC offers one-on-one, no cost, confidential counseling to help make businesses better. To contact the SBTDC’s Chapel Hill office and get connected with a business counselor, call (919) 962-2492 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. At this time, counselors are available via phone, email, or video conference only.
For more information, visit the SBTDC’s website at www.sbtdc.org. For resources specific to business recovery, visit the Navigating Your Business Through COVID-19 website. To keep up with the latest news, follow the SBTDC on Twitter at @NCSBTDC and on LinkedIn at @NC SBTDC.