The Times West Virginian


January 19, 2014

Small Business Boot Camp begins Feb. 4 in Fairmont

FAIRMONT — With beneficial resources at the fingertips of entrepreneurs, business success can be a reality.

Main Street Fairmont wanted to find a way to bring stores into downtown Fairmont, said executive director Kate Greene. So the organization decided to create a seven-week training to give people the educational foundation and real-world experience that they need to start a business.

The Small Business Boot Camp will begin Feb. 4 and meet every Tuesday night from 6-9 p.m. until March 18. Each session will take place at Pierpont Community & Technical College’s space at Veterans’ Square in downtown Fairmont.

Participants will pay a $35 materials fee for the entire program.

Greene said the attendees will interact with local educators and business professionals who are actively involved in the community and are making a difference. Those presenters will be able to mentor the class members and serve as a constant resource, giving them the tools to be successful in business.

The Small Business Boot Camp is open to anybody who is interested in opening a business in downtown Fairmont, Marion County or beyond, she said. The series has an itinerary of 14 topics, with two being covered each evening.

“The tools are solid,” Greene said. “We want to see small business in West Virginia. These tools are for everybody.”

The program will include the following topics: deciding on a business, writing the business plan, computer and communication tools, business organization, business licenses and permits, insurance, location and leasing, accounting and cash flow, financing your business, e-commerce, buying a business or franchise, opening and marketing, expanding and handling problems, and international trade.

Interested persons must register ahead of time by visiting, calling 304-366-0468, emailing, or finding Main Street Fairmont on Facebook.

To follow up those classes, Main Street Fairmont will partner with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s Alliance for Economic Inclusion to host a Small Business Resource Summit during the eighth week. Greene said this event, on Tuesday, March 25, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., will focus on both startup entrepreneurs and those already actively engaged with business in the community.

“(We’re) looking at bringing people from the state, local, federal level in to talk about how you can make your business better and stronger,” she said.

The summit will feature 45-minute, engaging seminars, Greene said. There is no cost to attend this particular event, and registration isn’t required.

“The reason we wanted to get involved in it is that small business entrepreneurship development is an extremely important function not only in working with individuals so they can find ways to increase wealth and save and support their family, but also to improve their whole communities,” said John Meeks, community affairs specialist for the Atlanta region of the FDIC.

He said the Alliance for Economic Inclusion, which is guided by the FDIC, is made up of West Virginia organizations that work within the small business community. The organization is devoted solely to small business entrepreneurship issues and strives to improve the resources that are available owners.

The alliance has held two other Small Business Resource Summits — one in Beckley and one in Huntington — to give aspiring or current business people the opportunity to see the resources that are available to meet their needs.

These events try to connect individuals with resource providers that deal with credit, educational opportunities, technical assistance, taxes, importing and exporting, and other areas, Meeks said.

The Small Business Boot Camp and the Small Business Resource Summit will be a nice offering in Fairmont and are targeting people in a 10-county area surrounding the Friendly City, he said.

Another activity on March 25 is the Entrepreneurs’ Café. This luncheon event, scheduled for noon, is an effort to award micro-funding to local entrepreneurs.

Main Street Fairmont modeled this event after a program of the same name led by Vision Shared, a nonprofit community and economic development organization in the state. The Entrepreneurs’ Café is the idea that led Main Street Fairmont to start these upcoming business-related efforts, Greene said.

During the Fairmont Entrepreneurs’ Café, local entrepreneurs will share their business ideas, and members of the community who attend will vote on which one they think is the best, she said. The winner has the chance to walk away with some money  from this “People’s Choice Award.”

Local entrepreneurs must pre-register in order to make presentations.

Attendees must also register in advance — by Friday, March 21 — and pay $15 for their lunch ticket. Persons can show up the day of the event, but lunch will not be included for them. All the proceeds from the tickets sales will go to the winner of the “People’s Choice Award,” Greene said.

In addition, Main Street Fairmont has secured $5,000 through the West Virginia Development Office and plans to give that money away as a Small Business Innovation Grant to a viable, sustainable business model specifically for Fairmont’s historic downtown, she said.

Main Street will be accepting business plans for review until March 14 and will make the announcement of the winner during the Entrepreneurs’ Café.

Greene said these events are all tied together and will be very valuable for participants.

The timing is also important because of the development that’s coming downtown, she said. This is the chance for entrepreneurs to establish a presence downtown in preparation for the increased traffic in the future.

Email Jessica Borders at or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.

Text Only
  • ‘L-gov’ program of West Virginia Treasurer’s Office providing many benefits

    The “L-gov” program of the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office is providing many benefits to governmental entities across the state, including the City of Fairmont.
    L-gov, which is an abbreviation for local government, helps cities, towns, school boards, public service districts and other entities process their bills in a streamlined, efficient way.

    July 27, 2014

  • Cardinal Tax Services-JB.jpg Helping people focus of Cardinal Tax Services

    At Cardinal Tax Services LLC, Wendy Cutlip is doing what she enjoys — helping people.
    Cutlip, owner and Registered Tax Return Preparer, opened her new business in White Hall at the beginning of June. It is located in the Mountain Gate Business Park, which is along Route 250 South just past Fabric and Foam and next to the Sunoco.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 22, 2014

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 22, 2014

  • Morgantown’s housing expenses exceed national average

    The housing prices in Morgantown are driving the city’s cost of living above the national average, a new survey reports.
    John Deskins, director of the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics’ Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER), explained that the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) orchestrates data collection in 288 cities across the country.

    July 20, 2014

  • JA Used Furniture-JB.jpg J.A. Used Furniture has valuable variety

    J.A. Used Furniture in Fairmont carries items that people need — all at low prices.
    Owner Ron Dray officially opened the doors of his new business, located at 10 Locust Ave., toward the end of December. He explained that the “J.A.” initials in the store’s name stand for the names of his two granddaughters, Jordan and Adriauna.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Backbone Security, T&T Pump Co. among 37 state companies recognized

    Two Marion County companies were recently celebrated for their continued successes in exporting.
    Backbone Security and T&T Pump Co., both in Fairmont, were among the 37 West Virginia companies that Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Cabinet Secretary Keith Burdette, the West Virginia Development Office and the West Virginia Export Council recently acknowledged for expanding their business to new parts of the world. An awards presentation was held in Charleston on June 24.

    July 13, 2014

  • All Things Herbal-JB.jpg All Things Herbal health and wellness shop

    All Things Herbal Local Market is a one-stop, health and wellness shop.
    Owner Christa Blais officially opened her new business in downtown Fairmont at 327 Adams St., across from Veterans’ Square, on June 6 during Main Street Fairmont’s First Friday event.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3-D printing continuing to revolutionize manufacturing

    As 3-D printing is revolutionizing manufacturing, the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing continues to stay at the forefront of this technology.
    RCBI has three Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers, located in Bridgeport, Charleston and Huntington.

    July 6, 2014

  • Blackheart International -JB.jpg Blackheart International bringing high-quality services

    Blackheart International, a firearms manufacturer and provider of logistics and training solutions, is bringing high-quality services to the local community.
    At the beginning of April, the company moved from Philippi, where it had been located since 2005, to its new home in Fairmont.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Business
House Ads