Business Ticker Telegraph donates $800 to Chester Rotary; SBA offers free 7-month business program

CHECK PASSING IN THE TIME OF COVID-19: Chester Telegraph editor Cynthia Prairie, left, and Chester Rotary President Bill Dakin explore alternatives to shaking hands Thursday evening as Prairie donates $800 to the Rotary. Each year, The Telegraph raises funds for the Rotary through advertising sales in its Guide to the Fall Festival, which is put on by the Rotary. Since the effort began in 2015, The Telegraph has donated $3,250 to the Rotary which awards several scholarships to Green Mountain High School graduates each year. Photo by Shawn Cunningham.

SBA offers free 7-month business course

The Small Business Administration is seeking 20 business owners throughout Vermont to participate in a free business course from April to October at Vermont Technical College in Williston. This is the fifth year the SBA has held the course in Vermont.

Emerging Leaders is a free executive-level training program for established business owners poised for growth. The selected students will learn immediate ways to improve their business and will create a three-year strategic growth plan to build a sustainable business of size and scale.

Based on survey responses from 38 Vermont entrepreneurs who graduated from the program between 2016 to 2018, 77 percent said their business increased or maintained revenue.

“One of the most interesting and valuable aspects I learned during the course was the better use of financial data. Our enhanced detailed cash flow forecasting was invaluable in identifying and addressing our needs during the busy holiday season,” said Vicky Allard, a 2018 Emerging Leaders student and the owner of Blake Hill Preserves in Windsor.

Emerging Leaders is for established business owners and is not for start-ups or people who are thinking about starting a business. To be considered, firms must be for-profit enterprises, been in business for at least three years, have full-time employees, and have annual revenues between $400,000 and $10 million.

Applicants can come from a variety of industries. Some examples of participating businesses include manufacturers, technology businesses, wholesalers, contractors, professional services, agricultural enterprises and food service. SBA is seeking applicants from diverse geographic and demographic groups.

Since 2016 when Emerging Leaders launched in Vermont, 78 of the 80 entrepreneurs selected have completed the course.

Business owners interested in the program should fill out the online application here by March 20. Interise, a non-profit organization specializing in entrepreneurial education, oversees the Emerging Leaders nationwide. The SBA reviews the applications and selects the class participants. All applicants will be contacted.

For more information, click here, email or call 802-828-4422 ext. 203.

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