The Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce
and Hudson Valley Community
College announced the creation of a new
partnership to expand the local SCORE
small business counseling program to help
entrepreneurs at the Chamber’s Saratoga
Springs offices as well as at HVCC’s Tec-
Smart Campus in Malta.
SCORE, is a non-profit association supported
by the U.S. Small Business Administration,
dedicated to helping small businesses get
off the ground, grow and achieve their goals
through education and mentorship.
In 2012, the local SCORE chapter, led by Bill Edwards, provided more than 500 hours of free counseling to local entrepreneurs and small business owners, predominantly at the Chamber.
The expansion to the HVCC Tec-Smart Campus will make it easier for people seeking counseling from across Saratoga County to access these free services, Chamber officials said. In addition to expanding the locations where people can go to meet with a SCORE counselor, the local chapter is also seeking to expand its team of volunteer counselors to meet increasing demand.
“We’ve had a tremendous partnership for many years with the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce that has helped us to market SCORE’s services to entrepreneurs and local businesses very effectively,” said Edwards. “The growing need for additional counselors and office space motivated us to seek additional office space for counseling and we’re so pleased to now be adding HVCC to this partnership. The Tec Smart Facility is an ideal central location for us to serve even more people and to help them make wise business decisions to grow our local economy and to create jobs.”
SCORE business counseling sessions are free and completely confidential. The dates, times and the location of each session are scheduled in consultation with the entrepreneur or business owner seeking assistance and the SCORE counselors assigned to help them. SCORE’s volunteer mentors have themselves been successful business owners, managers and key decision makers with expertise in finance, marketing, business planning, talent acquisition, and more.
“The SCORE counselors are experienced decision makers and business leaders with a wealth of knowledge and expertise on the range of challenging decisions every entrepreneur and business owner must make,” said Todd Shimkus, Chamber president.
“I’ve seen them help successful business owners looking for advice on how to adapt their business plan after many years of doing the same thing to helping people with a unique idea but no business experience to get the financing they need to start up a new business,” he said. ” The volunteers are top notch and provide such an important economic development service to our community.”
According to Andrew Matonak, president of Hudson Valley Community College, the Tec Smart Campus was created to allow for partnerships like these between business organizations, local volunteers, small business owners, entrepreneurs, educators and students.
“We’d like to think that some of the local entrepreneurs who come to the Tec Smart Facility for SCORE’s free counseling will see that our students might be a resource to them as new employees or to help with research and testing of specific product ideas,” said Matonak. “As we train our students for future careers, it’s nice to be able to help them network with the entrepreneurs who are trying to figure out how to create future business opportunities. That’s why this is such a great partnership for HVCC, SCORE and the Chamber.”
For more information contact the Chamber offices at 584-3255 or contact Edwards at 893-7364.