Washington Count Business Plan Challenge


♪♪ IS A PROGRAM DESIGNED TO ATTRACT ENTREPRENEURS TO LOCATE OR EXPAND THEIR STARTUP IN THE CITIES IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA. SANDY RATLIFF AND ARE BOTH HERE FOR MORE ON THE WASHINGTON COUNTY BUSINESS PLAN CHALLENGE. THANK YOU BEING HERE AND WE APPRECIATED. TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THIS CHALLENGE AND THE HISTORY BEHIND IT. THIS WILL BE OUR SIX YEAR END STARTED AS A WAY TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES. YOU HEAR ABOUT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, IT’S GOING OUT TO THE BIG BOX. WASHINGTON COUNTY, THE BUILDING AUTHORITY, WE WANTED TO DO SOMETHING ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT AND HELP OUR SMALL BUSINESS. THEY CAN CATCH UP AND WE’VE GROWN SINCE THEN. IT HELPS FOLKS TO LEARN SKILLS, YOU TAKE CLASSES ONCE A WEEK. THIS GOES ON FOR SIX WEEKS. YOU PITCH YOUR BUSINESS IDEA, YOU SUBMIT A BUSINESS PLAN, YOU’RE JUDGED AND YOU CAN WIN $5000 TO START OR GROW YOUR BUSINESS. THAT’S PRETTY AMAZING. THIS CHALLENGE IS BEEN GOING ON FOR 6 YEARS NOW. WHAT IS THE MOTIVATION BEHIND IT? OBVIOUSLY, THE ECONOMIC GROWTH OF SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA IS RIGHT UP THERE. BUT IT IS TRYING TO GET THESE STARTUPS A HAND UP? RIGHT? YOU HAVE AN IDEA AND LET IT FLOAT AND WE LEARN ABOUT THIS. WE KNOW THAT IT WORKS. YOU CAN DRIVE DOWN TO THE TOWN OF ABINGDON, AND WE CAN PUT TWO BUSINESSES THAT I PARTICIPATED AND THEY WIN OR DIDN’T WIN. BUT THEY GOT THE MOTIVATION, THE SKILLS TO MOVE FORWARD. RIGHT. WE’VE HAD 92 CHALLENGERS OVER THE PAST 5 YEARS. 40% OF THOSE HAVE STARTED TO GROW THEIR BUSINESS. YOU COMPARED TO OTHER BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, WE ARE PRETTY PROUD OF THE RESULTS. THAT IS PRETTY AMAZING. SO, OBVIOUSLY, THEY WILL HAVE TO PITCH THEIR IDEAS TO A PANEL OF JUDGES. WHAT ARE THE JUDGES LOOKING FOR? HOW WILL THEY BE BAD, JUDGED? TWO PARTS, FIRST YOU HAVE TO SUBMIT A BUSINESS PLAN. IT’S THE SAME WAY IF YOU’RE GOING TO A BACK TO A LENDER. TELL US HOW YOU WILL GROW THAT BUSINESS AND HOW YOU WILL SERVICE AND THEN YOU PITCH YOUR BUSINESS. SO YOU HAVE TWO DIFFERENT SETS OF JUDGES. ALL OF THOSE WILL BE SCORED ON HOW YOU PITCH IT, IS YOUR BUSINESS SOUND LIKE IT HAS MERIT? OBVIOUSLY, HAVE YOU DONE YOUR RESEARCH? HOW WILL YOU MARKET IT? ALL THOSE ARE TALLIED TOGETHER AND WE DECIDE, THE NUMBERS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES. WHO WILL ONLY WHEN IT? YOU WILL BE ANNOUNCING THE WINNER AT A SPECIAL LOCATION? ON MARCH 21, THAT WILL BE OUR FIRST PRACTICE IN OUR CHAMBER AND IT WILL BE AT THE HOLIDAY INN. THAT IS WHERE WILL BE ANNOUNCING OUR WINNERS. THAT IS A BIG FUNCTION, WE ARE OURS EXCITED TO HAVE IT. WE YOU WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO DO THIS WITHOUT SPONSORS TO HELP YOU. AND THIS WILL GET THEM STARTED. THAT’S TRUE. WE WOULD LIKE TO REACH OUT AND SAY THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS. OUR MAIN SPONSOR IS TOWN OF ABINGTON, THE DEVELOPMENT OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, WE HAVE SOME OTHER ONES LIKE HENRY COLLEGE, TOWN OF DAMASCUS AND THEN WE ALSO HAVE THE CAREERS THAT HELP US IN CRYSTAL. WE ALSO HAVE CREEK CITY. WONDERFUL. YOU GUYS HAVE A LOT OF GREAT SPONSORS. OF COURSE, PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED IN IS. HOW DO THEY LEARN MORE INFORMATION AND APPLY EX YOU CAN GO TO OUR WEBSITE AND YOU CAN GET THE INFORMATION THERE. YOU CAN CALL THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. WE JUST NEED HIS APPLICATIONS IN BY JANUARY 11 WHICH IS NEXT FRIDAY. OKAY. NEXT FRIDAY. PEOPLE HAVE THE CHANCE BASICALLY, IT’S A LITTLE OVER A WEEK FROM NOW, TO GET THE DREAM STARTED, RIGHT? IS PRETTY AMAZING. IT IS VERY EXCITING AS WELL. WE ARE CERTAINLY GLAD TO BE THE FISCAL AGENT FOR THAT. I WANTED TO MENTION THE OTHER SPONSORS IS PAPA TOM CANTINA WHICH IS AN ENTREPRENEUR THAT PARTICIPATED BEFORE IN THIS PROGRAM AND IS A SPONSOR FOR ONE OF OUR AWARDS. GIVING BACK. THIS IS A TRUE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FOR VIRGINIA. YOU CAN SEE THE PROGRESS AND

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