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SBC Director Awarded

WPCC SBC Director Honored 011314Morganton, NC –Western Piedmont Community College’s (WPCC) Small Business Center (SBC) Director Eddie McGimsey recently received the annual Innovation Award for Services/Collaboration from the North Carolina Community College System Small Business Center Network (SBCN).  McGimsey (shown far right) was honored for his work in identifying and building community support for the creation and growth of an organization that assists new businesses by providing small business loans.  Dr. Chad Bledsoe, WPCC Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs is shown with McGimsey.

“Burke County is doing a remarkable job supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses,” said McGimsey.  “The county supports our Certified Entrepreneur Communities program.  In addition, the SBC was awarded grants to support dislocated workers with the GATE program and to fund a business plan competition.  The City of Morganton plays an important role as well through its Mainstreet program and office of Development and Design that bolsters support with low interest loans and partial grants for small businesses.  The most ardent support for small businesses has come from the Town of Valdese and its Town Manager Jeff Morse with the support of his Mayor and Council.  Their commitment to finding sources to fund small businesses has brought several entities together forming VEDIC, the Valdese Economic Development and Investment Corporation.  I am honored to serve with this team and share this award with VEDIC which now has just short of 1 million dollars invested in Burke County businesses.”

WPCC’s Small Business Center is a community resource for individuals who are beginning a new business venture, expanding an existing business, or need help with a business plan.  The SBC, whose help is provided at no direct cost to its clients, is designed to help businesses succeed through additional training, one-on-one counseling, or providing clients with contacts and information.  The Center is staffed with individuals who understand the problems small businesses face and help clients work in partnership with a network of business leaders and agencies who provide timely advice on operating a business or offer referrals for local, state, and federal agencies.

The SBCN is organized in six regions to correspond with the System’s Customized Training regions and increase coordination with the regional economic development partnerships. In 2012-2013, SBCN provided 3,781 entrepreneurship seminars to 46,782 attendees and counseling to 6,971 individuals, resulting in 528 business startups and 2,967 jobs created or retained.

Western Piedmont Community College is situated in the picturesque rolling foothills of Morganton, North Carolina, and has served the citizens of Burke County since 1964.  Each year, more than 10,700 students pursue personal enrichment, new skills for a job or career, high school diplomas, college degrees, and transfer pathways. Apply online or visit the Western Piedmont campus to apply in person.