7 earn business plan certificate through NC Real series

HAMLET — Richmond Community College’s Small Business Center awarded certificates on Oct. 16 to seven people who completed the NC REAL Business Plan series.

RCC Small Business Center Director Deborah Hardison, left, stands with participants of the NC REAL Business Plan Series, from left to right, Kamus McNair, Kevin Wall, Suzy Boros, Tenisha Covington, Arthur Lockhart, Linda Ross, Barbara Moton and David Wall. Also attending the certificate ceremony was Merrielle Buckner, right, of the Small Business Center.

RCC Small Business Center Director Deborah Hardison, left, stands with participants of the NC REAL Business Plan Series, from left to right, Kamus McNair, Kevin Wall, Suzy Boros, Tenisha Covington, Arthur Lockhart, Linda Ross, Barbara Moton and David Wall. Also attending the certificate ceremony was Merrielle Buckner, right, of the Small Business Center.

The 10-session NC REAL series explored key issues related to starting or expanding a business. Topics include self-assessment, business idea and site feasibility, legal structure, marketing, and business financials.

Representatives from the N.C. Secretary of State’s office and the Department of Revenue, an attorney, a human resources expert and an event promoter were among some of the guest speakers who answered questions for burgeoning and veteran business owners. Participants also gained tips on how to present their business plan to a potential investor. At the conclusion of the program series, participants presented their business plan and received feedback from a panel of experts.

A diverse set of business ideas were explored during the fall 2014 session of NC REAL, which is offered twice each year. Some participants plan to (or already) operate a business online, work from home or have a store-front location.

Arthur Lockhart revealed a great way to make use of his wooded land by growing mushrooms and selling them commercially. Suzy Boros, who operates Morning Song, warmed the class with stories of her alpaca farm and product line including socks and sweaters. Kevin Wall, owner of Little Country Boy Plumbing, explored a plumbing business and began taking classes through RCC’s Workforce and Economic Development to pursue his dream of business ownership. David Wall of J.W. Van Line Mover developed a way to use a large truck he owns to begin a hauling and delivery service for both homeowners and businesses.

Barbara Moton, owner of Shear Dimensions salon, formalized her business plan and expanded her learning with other business classes at RCC this fall. Linda Ross owns a gift shop, Lin’s Gift Shop, in Hamlet and showed pictures of her customized wreaths and gift baskets. Her onsite coffee shop also appealed to many of the class participants. Tenisha Covington combined her knack for bargain hunting and an eye for style in a soon-to-open thrift and consignment store.

The participants were able to present their business plan to a panel of business professionals including Deborah Hardison, Small Business Center director; Debra Morman, franchise expert and coach from The Entrepreneur’s Source; and Greg Icard, director of Economic Development for Scotland County.

“The presentation ceremony was celebrated by all the participants who are working hard to start and grow small businesses in Richmond and Scotland County through RCC’s Small Business Center,” Hardison said. “This group showed a strong work ethic and supported each other during the 10 sessions.  All of them are a success for completing the series. They should be very proud of themselves; I sure am.”

Filed in: Business, Education, Latest Headlines, News

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