A new program started by the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce is set to give a few lucky new business owners in the city a free year’s membership to the chamber and a few other perks, Chamber President Betty Ann Collins announced this week.
The Business Booster Scholarship Program, Collins said, is designed to encourage the growth of new city businesses while giving those business owners the chance to experience the benefits of a chamber membership.
To achieve this goal, the chamber has joined forces with the Surry County Economic Development Partnership, Surry Community College, the city of Mount Airy, Pine State Marketing, WSYD/WPAQ, Surrey Bank and Trust and McHoward Business Coaching.
Collins said these entities will provide consultations and/or services to the four winning businesses, which will be chosen based on predetermined criteria.
“The program will focus on building business-to-business relationships, providing consultations and services from our partners in the program, while educating our local community on available products and services these businesses offer,” Collins said.
She noted that membership in a chamber of commerce helps raise community awareness of member businesses.
“A chamber membership provides visibility and credibility within the business community, leading to profitability,” Collins said. “The bottom line is critical to being able to stay in business.”
To this end, membership in the chamber of commerce provides networking opportunities that can lead to increased revenue.
“We are excited to offer the Business Booster Scholarship Program to local aspiring businesses, and confident that the impact of the program will result in long-term growth of their business,” Collins said.
Dennis Lowe, chairman of the chamber board and owner of Lowe Professional Services, had the idea for the scholarship program, and took it before the chamber’s Business Development Committee.
The idea, he said, is to help new business owners increase revenue during their critical first months in operation.
“Many new business owners today find that they have little money to spend on marketing and promotion or any type of professional development,” Lowe said. “This program is designed to help fledgling businesses more rapidly become self-sufficient by giving them easy access to expert advice and an expanded network of educated consumers.”
Applications for the program will be accepted throughout the month of August, and winners will be announced in September.
Interested business owners can pick up an application at the chamber office or receive an application via email.
To request an application or for more information, contact Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 786-6116, ext. 6.