In the rapidly changing era of technology, SCORE is progressing and engaging people as mentors who have current experience in the world of small business success.
Northern Arizona SCORE is taking the lead, bringing on board people who have owned and operated their own small businesses and, additionally, partnering with entrepreneurs who are still in business, folks who are keeping abreast of the ever-changing technologies that affect their respective fields.
In an interview with Jerry Jones, current chapter president, he emphasized that, “Our goal is to help the community and to help people get jobs. Small business represents 95 percent of the businesses in America. Unfortunately, Northern Arizona has a stalemate economy because of the disproportionate number of customer service jobs and SCORE is making efforts to change that equation.”
Jerry went on to explain that SCORE’s current goal is to encourage more businesses that are bringing better paying jobs that require higher skill levels. To accomplish this, SCORE is partnering with Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Northern Arizona University, Prescott College and Yavapai College. They are working in conjunction with the Small Business Development Centers in Prescott, Cottonwood and Flagstaff, as well as the Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NACOG).
A few of the many partnerships that SCORE is developing are DMK Enterprises, a consulting service that helps entrepreneurs focus on clear strategic steps for business success; accounting and tax services; insurance companies; Laura Hamblin, PLLC, a human resources lawyer who provides training and guidance; and Rose Vazquez, a non-profit consultant and grant writer.
“SCORE's business,” Jerry said, “is to assist businesses to start up and grow. It’s important for us, as an organization, to have boots on the ground; people who know and understand how small business works and what it takes to make it successful in today’s economy.”
A new computer system has just been installed that will allow this chapter to keep up with ongoing technologies. Penny Repine is the new office administrator. She recently retired and relocated to Prescott. Her technology skills are current and she is working diligently to make sure she stays abreast of changes as they happen.
SCORE is actively seeking both mentors and partners who are up-to-date in their fields and who are willing to share their knowledge and expertise with entrepreneurs who are starting or growing their businesses. Future plans for this chapter in 2018 include an increased emphases on the Cottonwood/Sedona/Verde Valley area, recruiting additional volunteers in the Flagstaff region and in Mohave County. Plus, they are exploring new territory in the White Mountains and will be recruiting mentors to support small businesses there.
Within SCORE, volunteers are either certified mentors or they are co-mentors, workshop presenters, fund raisers or marketers. This provides tremendous opportunity for volunteers to bring their expertise to benefit their communities.
With all the new movement and energy SCORE is generating, Jerry is looking at 2018 with anticipation and optimism. Anyone meeting any of the various requirements is encouraged to contact SCORE and help support the greater Northern Arizona business community to generate jobs and prosperity in 2018.
Although it is a distance to travel, for those with employees, consider registering for the Winter Employment Law Workshop Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018; only $20 at Yavapai College Prescott Campus - Building 29 - SBDC Conference Room. This is with Laura Hamblin, JD and will be well worth the trip.