Want $5,000 to start a business in Dillsboro? Enter the 2014 Business Plan Competition

SMBUSPLANCurrent and prospective business owners alike gathered at the Jarrett House in Dillsboro on Tuesday, December 10th to kick off the 2014 Town of Dillsboro Business Plan Competition, which features a $5,000 grand prize for the winning business plan.

The kickoff was a successful initial meeting to inform interested contestants what they’ll be accomplishing over the course of the competition.

“We are excited to work with the town of Dillsboro to promote commerce in the area,” said Tommy Dennison, small business counselor with the Small Business Technology Development Center at Western Carolina University and co-director of the competition.

The competition is a project of the Dillsboro/WCU Partnership in collaboration with  Southwestern Community College’s Small Business Center, which is directed by Tiffany Henry.

The competition will be held over the duration of three months, beginning January 13 and ending April 7,when the winner of the $5,000 grand prize will be announced.

Contestants will be required to participate in eight free classes in the Small Business Center at the Macon Campus of Southwestern Community College.  The classes are a part of the NC REAL Entrepreneurship Program.

“Thanks to the classes, merchants will leave this competition with a completely operable business plan,” said Dennison.

Rose Anne Johnson, owner of Bradley’s General Store and soon-to-open Bradley’s Den photo parlor, is using the competition to learn more about operating a business. “The competition will give me knowledge on how to run my businesses more effectively,” said Johnson.

At the conclusion of the final class, participants will have three weeks to submit a new business plan that will be evaluated by judges who are professionals in the business community.

Applications to begin the competition are due by January 13, 2014.

For more information about eligibility, guidelines, or sponsoring the competition, contact Dennison at trdennison@email.wcu.edu or call (828) 227-3504 or Henry at t_henry@southwesterncc.edu or call (828) 339-4495.

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