The Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads (SBDC) is pleased to announce that it is a recipient of one of 10 nationally awarded Portable Assistance Grants by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Portable Assistance Grant Program is designed to assist organizations in developing products or programs that can be replicated in other areas of the country.
The SBDC, in partnership with the Retail Alliance of Hampton Roads, will use the $100,000 grant from September 2012-September 2013 to develop a regional Retail Institute. The Retail Institute will consist of both classroom and online training courses designed to provide information across the entire spectrum of the retail experience as well as general business management. Courses will cover topics such as business practices, store displays, inventory management, and theft prevention. The grant will allow the SBDC to hire a counselor to oversee the Retail Institute.
During the next year, the SBDC and Retail Alliance will develop and beta test the program and then implement it throughout the region. The SBDC and Retail Alliance will work with the Old Towne Business Association in Portsmouth, as well as the Portsmouth Department of Economic Development, to bring the Retail Institute to retailers in Old Towne Portsmouth.
“With fiscal uncertainty facing this region, we want to take proactive steps to better prepare the retail community,” said Jim Carroll, executive director of the Small Business Development Center of the Hampton Roads and vice president of small business for the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. “By partnering with the Retail Alliance we have access to a wide range of information and experts who are key to making this program a reality,” he added.
The Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads is an affiliate of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. Since 1990, the SBDC has served more than 10,000 existing and prospective small business owners and enabled them to create more than 8,000 jobs and achieve more than $350 million in direct economic impact for Hampton Roads.