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KOSBE announces new program to assist business

From staff reports • Jun 24, 2020 at 9:00 PM

KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) now has access to supplemental grant funding through the CARES Act, which specifically enables the organization to provide education, training and business advising to small businesses that have experienced supply chain disruptions, staffing challenges, a decrease in gross receipts or customers or a closure as a result of COVID-19.

This enriched technical assistance is provided to business owners at zero cost (1-4 hours maximum). KOSBE will manage contracts with various providers and experts and pay fair compensation for services. KOSBE is contracting with several private consultants who will assist businesses and serve as subject matter experts as follows:

ARO Creative Inc. — website management, e-commerce setup and integration, online customer journey and sales funnel creation, marketing strategy and other marketing related services. www.aroinc.com.

Kathy Richards, CPA — accounting and financial analysis services and training, QuickBooks Online setup, cleanup and training and providing answers to common questions about the PPP loan program. www.kathyrichards.com.

Sync Space Entrepreneur Center — consulting services and workshops related to rebuilding service lines for a new economy, going digital with e-commerce, online strategies and advertising, new customer discovery, marketing strategies and identifying new markets for products and potential customers. www.syncspace.org.

Beyond Engagement — digital marketing, strategy, content promotion, marketing consultancy, marketing management, virtual webinars and Facebook and Instagram advertising. www.beyond-engagement.com.

McClaskey Excellence Institute — one-on-one consulting on operations excellence related issues, identifying and closing the gap on key operations excellence problems and webinars related to improving operations excellence. www.mcclaskeyexcellence.com.

Kaplan CFO Solutions — strategic planning, cash flow projections, prioritizing and navigating through PPP, EIDL and other funds and community grants, negotiating payment terms with vendors and customers, planning when to bring back employees and cost reduction strategies. www.kaplancfo.com.

Hillhouse Creative — consulting services including e-commerce, digital advertising and establishing or improving web or social media presence. www.hillhousecreative.com.

Hannah Speaks, accountant — bookkeeping, integration from paper approach to software managed financials, strategic cash management, clean up neglected ledgers, PPP applications and forgiveness documents, QuickBooks training and evaluation of current staffing.

Accounting services do not include the preparation of tax returns or handling tax audits.

“Now that most businesses have exhausted their financial assistance options, it’s time to refocus on longer-term survival,” said Aundrea Wilcox, KOSBE executive director. “It’s time to aggressively work on the business and start implementing new strategies in order to meet business objectives, as well as stay in business. We are offering small businesses exceptional quality services that they likely cannot afford at this time because of suffering significant financial damage due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are going to pay the service providers, but business owners have to be willing to listen to experts with a fresh perspective and then invest the time and effort. Innovation and execution on the part of the business owner are the keys to success here.”

To access services, small business owners must be referred by the Kingsport Chamber or KOSBE. A company is not required to be a chamber member or pre-existing KOSBE client to receive assistance. Contact the Kingsport Chamber at (423) 392-8800 to learn more about this opportunity. BriAnna Taylor has been named COVID-19 project coordinator through the end of the year when the program ends. She will provide administrative support for KOSBE that includes directing small businesses to the appropriate resources and disseminating related communications to small business owners and the public. This new responsibility coincides with her current position as executive assistant to Fun Fest and the Downtown Kingsport Association, which she said will also continue.

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