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Reboot, Recover, Rebuild helps business owners navigate COVID-19

With businesses nationwide suffering financially because of COVID-19-related closures, many local business owners have had to rethink how they operate in unprecedented ways. It can be a daunting task, but the Beaufort County Community College Small Business Center is there to help.

Earlier this month, the SBC announced a new push to offer free business counseling for local establishments that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through its Reboot, Recover, Rebuild program.

Offering counseling in more than 40 different categories, the service is available to any small business in Beaufort, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington counties. BCCC Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator Attila Nemecz says the SBC can connect business owners with professional advisors in a variety of fields, with topics ranging from budgeting during lean times to finding new revenue streams.

The program, however, isn’t just limited to companies that employ multiple people. Nemecz says the opportunity is available to everybody, including independent contractors.

“I think that a lot of people don’t see themselves as small business owners,” Nemecz said. “I think people who are housekeepers, tutors — some of these businesses have traditional views of small businesses sometimes. It could even be homeowners associations, churches or nonprofits that have had to figure out how to deal with these new conditions. These conditions are not going to change anytime soon, so that is why businesses need to get the counseling to adapt to this new reality.”

A press release from BCCC lists restaurants, hair salons, barber shops, auto repair shops, churches, electricians, babysitters, daycare operators, landscapers, housekeepers, piano teachers, charter boat operators, short-term rental operators, retail shops, bakeries, soap makers, graphic design companies and catering businesses as some examples of businesses that could benefit from the counseling.

Funding for Reboot, Recover and Rebuild is part of the North Carolina General Assembly’s Pandemic Relief Fund. That, in turn, helps pay for the services of the counselors, all of whom are vetted experts in their respective fields, ranging from certified public accountants and legal experts to marketing and branding specialists. Applicants can connect with these experts one-on-one via remote counseling, which completely confidential.

“This health crisis has had negative economic impacts on our local economy. The R3 Program will have a positive economic impact and encourage entrepreneurs to move forward with wise counsel,” said SBC Director Lentz Stowe. “This funding has allowed us to partner with consultants who are subject-matter experts. They will provide free coaching and counseling, helping our entrepreneurs in BCCC’s four-county service area get back on their feet, dust themselves off and persevere through these challenging times. I hope we have many businesses take advantage of this resource.”

Business owners interested in seeking counseling can email continuingeducation@beaufortccc.edu or calling 252-940-6375. More information on the BCCC Small Business Center can be found at www.beaufortccc.edu/continuing-education/sbc/home.