Lofchie added that the service is available for “any client that wants some help, whether they have a small business idea they want to launch, or whether they are currently an entrepreneur and want some help.
“We have business experts that will be available to talk with any of our clients on a confidential, one-on-one basis,” she said. “We also will be providing training and access to other content resources.”
Most businesses have had some resiliency planning in place during the COVID-19 crisis, Lofchie said.
“I think this has lasted longer than any of us ever expected,” she said. “They [small businesses] are at the point where it is getting really hard, and there is a need for someone to come alongside them and coach them. There is also a need on the technical side, matching entrepreneurs with resources that are out there for them.”
The goal is to provide counseling for about 250 businesses a year, facilitate the creation of about 60 new businesses a year, help businesses access about $7 million in capital including loans and venture investments and help businesses create or retain about 250 jobs per year in the region, said Leah Fremouw, Virginia Community Capital’s director of community innovation.
“On average, the SBDC will spend about five hours per client, counseling and providing support,” Fremouw said.