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Washington County Business Plan Challenge

Washington County Business Plan Challenge


EVEN INTO CHRISTMAS EVE. THE WASHINGTON COUNTY BUSINESS PLAN CHALLENGE IS GEARING UP TO ATTRACT LOCAL ENTREPRENEURS. NITA FARMER AND SANDY RATLIFF ARE HERE WITH INFORMATION ON HOW AND YOUR BUSINESS COULD BE THE WINNER OF $5,000. THANK YOU SO MUCH, LADIES, FOR JOINING US. WE APPRECIATE IT THANK YOU FOR HAVING US. OF COURSE. TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THIS CHALLENGE YOU ALL ARE PUTTING OUT THERE FOR BUSINESSES IN WASHINGTON COUNTY. THIS WILL BE OUR FIFTH YEAR AND IT HELPS SOMEONE THAT MAYBE HAS A BUSINESS IDEA TO GO, TAKE — BE INVOLVED IN SIX WEEKS OF CLASSES BUT ALSO NETWORK WITH OTHER PROFESSIONALS AND FOLKS THAT HAVE SIMILAR IDEAS TO SEE IF IT WILL FLOAT. ALSO HELPS EXISTING BUSINESSES THAT ARE LOOKING TO EXPAND THAT MAYBE THEY NEED A LITTLE HELP WITH MAYBE SOME MARKETING TIPS OR MANAGEMENT TIPS, AND AFTER SIX WEEKS, YOU MAY NOT BE THE WINNER BUT WE KNOW THAT IT’S SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE WE HAVE A NUMBER OF BUSINESSES THAT HAVE MOVED FORWARD AND ARE OPERATING AND HAVE EMPLOYEES RIGHT NOW. RIGHT. AND HAVE GONE THROUGH THAT PROCESS AND NOT ONLY DO YOU LEARN A LOT, BUT IT’S GREAT IN THAT — OTHER BUSINESS OWNERS CAN TALK TO EACH OTHER. TALK TO ME ABOUT THE CHALLENGE ITSELF, NITA, IF YOU DON’T MIND. NO. 1, WE ARE GOING TO TAKE THE APPLICATIONS AND THEY — THE DEADLINE FOR THAT IS GOING TO BE JANUARY THE 8th AT 5:00, SO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR APPLICATION IN. AND THEN OUR FIRST — OUR FIRST SESSION IS GOING TO BE JANUARY 23rd, AND THAT’S WHEN WE’LL GET TO KNOW EVERYONE AND LET THEM KNOW ABOUT DIFFERENT THINGS THAT THEY NEED TO DO IN THE GUIDELINES. AND THEN WE’LL FOLLOW THROUGH EVERY TUESDAY THROUGH THE 27th OF FEBRUARY AND THAT’S WHEN WE HAVE PITCH NIGHT. SO TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT PITCH NIGHT AND WHAT YOU ARE ASKING OF THESE BUSINESSES AND HOW THEY CAN BECOME THE WINNER OF A REALLY WONDERFUL PRIZE, THANKS TO ALL OF YOUR GUYS’ SPONSORS. FIRST OF ALL, THIS IS THE FIRST YEAR WE’VE HAD A LOCAL ENTREPRENEUR THAT’S GIVEN THE CASH MONEY FOR THE $1,000 BEST PITCH. IT’S J.J.’S RESTAURANT AND BAR WHO IS A LOCAL ENTREPRENEUR AND PARTICIPATED AS A JUDGE PREVIOUS YEARS. BASICALLY I GO BEFORE A GROUP OF FOUR JUDGES. I PITCH MY BUSINESS IDEA WITHIN EIGHT MINUTES. THEY’LL ASK ME A FEW QUESTIONS AND I AM RANKED ON THAT. THAT GOES TOWARDS THEIR OVERALL SCORE ONCE THEY SUBMIT THE BUSINESS PLAN AND THE WINNER NOT ONLY GETS THE THOUSAND BUCKS BUT THEY ARE IN THE RUNNING FOR THE $5,000 PRIZE. THAT’S GREAT TO HAVE THAT MUCH MONEY, I’M SURE. AS AN ENTREPRENEUR, THAT MEANS A LOT. OF COURSE, YOU HAVE LOCAL LEADERS IN THE COMMUNITY THAT ARE, YOU KNOW, HAVING THESE CONVERSATIONS WITH YOU, TOO, THAT IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT. WE GO BACK TO THE WHOLE NETWORKING THING. YES. TELL ME A LITTLE BIT — YOU BOTH SAID YOU HAVE BEEN INVOLVED WITH THIS FOR FIVE YEARS AND THIS IS THE FIFTH YEAR FOR THIS SMALL BUSINESS CHALLENGE. WHY IS SOMETHING LIKE THIS SO IMPORTANT FOR WASHINGTON COUNTY? I THINK IT’S VERY IMPORTANT THAT WE GET TO BE A PART AND SEE HOW BUSINESSES GROW AND HOW THEY CAN START UP. AND TO BE A PART OF THAT, YOU KNOW, THE CHAMBER IS REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THAT. THE CHAMBER IS IN ITS 90th YEAR. WOW. WE’VE SEEN A LOT OF THINGS AND WE HAVE A LOT OF TEAM MEMBERS THAT HELP US, SO WE’RE VERY EXCITED. TELL ME ABOUT THE FEEDBACK AND THE RESPONSE THAT YOU ALL HAVE GOTTEN FROM BUSINESSES IN THE COMMUNITY, YOU KNOW, OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS. WELL, FIRST OF ALL, WHAT MAKES THIS PLAN DIFFERENT OR CHALLENGE DIFFERENT FROM MOST OTHER THAT I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN IN MY 29 YEARS IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, THE COUNTIES AND TOWNS ARE INVESTING IN THIS. THEY ARE PUTTING MONEY IN IT. WE HAVE LOCAL ENTREPRENEURS AND BUSINESSES THAT ARE PUTTING UP PRIZES THAT ARE INVOLVED IN DOING PRESENTATIONS AND SO FORTH, BUT TO GIVE SOMEONE THAT OPPORTUNITY TO SEE — I’VE HAD THIS IDEA, I’M GOING TO MAKE IT WORK. IF YOUR GOAL IS TO MAKE 8-TRACK TAPES, OUR GOAL IS TO TALK YOU OUT OF THAT BUT IT’S TO HELP YOU BUILD UP YOUR SKILLS. THEY CAN WIN $5,000 FOR THE BEST START-UP BUSINESS, $5,000 FOR THE BEST EXPANSION, PLUS SECOND PRIZE AS WELL AND DON’T FORGET THE PITCH. SPEAKER BLEVINS, WHO IS A CPA, IS DONATING $6,000 WORTH OF SERVICES TO THE WINNING START- UP TO HELP YOU OUT AND KEN STEWART, A LOCAL LAW FIRM IS GIVING UP TO $2,000 TO HELP YOU START THAT BUSINESS. WOW. IT’S NOT JUST US DOING IT, IT’S THE COMMUNITY THAT’S DOING IT. SO YOU’VE GOT THE FEEL OF THE WHOLE COMMUNITY SUPPORTING YOUR BUSINESS. WHAT BETTER WAY THAN TO DO THAT. BESIDES THOSE I’M SURE OTHER BUSINESSES IN WASHINGTON COUNTY ARE REALLY TRYING TO SUPPORT THE GROWTH OF NEW BUSINESSES COMING IN. YES. AND YOU KNOW, THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE I’M SURE ARE JUST TRYING TO PROMOTE THAT AS WELL. EXACTLY. ALL RIGHT, WELL, SO IF PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED IN APPLYING, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE REQUIREMENTS THAT BUSINESSES NEED TO KNOW? YOU GO AHEAD. WELL, THEY — THE BUSINESS HAS TO BE LOCATED IN WASHINGTON COUNTY OR THE TOWNS OF ABINGTON DAMASCUS OR GLADE SPRING. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A WASHINGTON COUNTY RESIDENT BUT YOUR BUSINESS MUST BE LOCATED THERE. THERE’S AN APPLICATION THEY CAN COMPLETE ONLINE AT THE WASHINGTONVACHAMBER.ORG WEBSITE THEY CAN SEE THE GUIDELINES AND FILL OUT THE APPLICATION BY JANUARY 8th. YOU HAVE TO COMMIT TO DOING THE — ALL SIX WEEKS OF CLASSES. THAT’S IMPORTANT TO US THAT YOU GET THOSE SKILLS, BECAUSE WE’RE INVESTING IN YOUR BUSINESS. RIGHT. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU’RE SUCCESSFUL AND YOU NEED THAT HELP. AND THAT’S — THAT’S BASICALLY THE — ONE THING I WANTED TO SAY, TOO, WE ALSO HAVE A LIFT OF MENTORS THAT HELP THROUGHOUT THE PROGRAM THAT THEY CAN GO TO GET EXPERT HE’S ON — EXPERTISE ON HOW TO WRITE THE BUSINESS PLAN. WONDERFUL. AND WE’RE THERE AFTERWARDS FOR THE WINNERS. LADIES, THANK YOU SO MUCH. WONDERFUL THINGS THAT YOU ALL ARE DOING IN WASHINGTON COUNTY. IF YOU WANT TO APPLY OR IF YOU KNOW OF A BUSINESS THAT SHOULD

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