The Small Business Center strives to meet the needs of current and prospective small business owners by offering these individuals community based counseling, training, as well as resource information free of charge, the SBS Web site stated. The Wilkes Campus’s SBC is one of 58 centers statewide that are based within the state’s community college network.
Wilkes Community College Small Business Center Director Phyllis VanHoy said that she works to ensure all three campuses of the college offer courses and seminars that best serve the individual needs to the area’s population.
She travels to the Ashe and Alleghany campuses regularly and also works with community officials to ascertain what programs would best benefit the area. Discussions with the chamber of commerce, Ashe Campus Director Chris Robinson, and Job Link in Jefferson are done so on a regular basis so that she and other officials are kept up to date on what classes the campuses should be offering. VanHoy also leads a panel group with the Ashe Chamber of Commerce that gives her and officials feedback on what the demand is in Ashe in terms of courses.
“We always to try to remain conscientious of what is going on in the community and what the demands are,” VanHoy said. “We are always very in tune to customize the courses that are considered a need in the community.”
One thing that makes the courses unique is that they are free of charge and are open as long as classroom capacity supports the need, VanHoy said.
All of the centers provide what VanHoy describes as a basic business start-up class that provides information on certain business fundamentals, such as how to start a business, writing a business plan, marketing, bookkeeping, and financing a business. The Small Business Center Network and the North Carolina Community College System requires that two sessions of the ‘start-up’ courses are offered at each campus. VanHoy said the Wilkes center tries to go the extra mile by offering the course four times a year during the spring and fall semester.
Classes on how to use Ebay, networking with other business owners, low or no cost Web design, and IRS led courses are just a few classes that are currently offered through the SBC at Wilkes in Ashe County.
In addition to some basic courses, the SBC also offers industrialists confidential and experienced counseling and advising services. The need based services can provide owners with solutions to any business related dilemma big or small. The Small Business Resource Center offers literature, videos, DVDs, and audio tapes that provide useful business related information.
For more information on the Small Business Center, please contact the Ashe Campus at 846-3900 or Director Phyllis VanHoy at (336) 838-6166.