SCORE Chapter in Spotlight for Work with Entrepreneurs

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News

Published on March 08, 2017 with No Comments

The Northwest Indiana SCORE chapter 0310 has been recognized for its work with small business owners and contributions to the region’s entrepreneurial community.

The chapter, along with its volunteers, Chair Jim Hubbard and Vice Chair Bill Herring, was recently honored as the 2016 Chapter of the Year for the District of Indiana by SCORE National Director Ken Yancey and SCORE District Director Susan Sheahan.

“The chapter was selected based on its success of volunteer services and expansion throughout the region,” Sheahan said.

SCORE provides no-cost, expert advice to new, existing and start-up businesses as well as offers resources and support to help businesses thrive. In the past year, SCORE served more than 1,100 clients, with approximately 63 percent of those being new start-ups in Northwest Indiana.

“Their successes are our successes. When they succeed, we succeed,” Sheahan said. “These successes included growth and the start of multiple businesses and the financial improvement of dozens more.”

The chapter, which covers Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper and Newton counties, has 25 volunteer members and specific subject matter experts who have varied backgrounds in such areas as marketing, finance, technology, social media, real estate and law. Some mentors are still active business owners and others are retired or working part-time.

“All SCORE mentors enjoy giving back and sharing their knowledge and skills with small business folks looking for some mentoring and assistance,” Hubbard said.

Volunteer mentor Nancy Barsic used SCORE herself before she opened her business many years ago, a business which she recently sold.

“The day I received my check from the sale I came to SCORE to volunteer,” she said. “It’s obvious we are impacting not only the Valparaiso community, but the whole area.

“I get to meet new people who remind me of where I was 20 years ago. They are very wonderful and exciting people and they are on their way up. I also enjoy seeing the businesses succeed and then going to visit them.”

Client Angela Holodick sought out SCORE for assistance in opening a Kundalini Yoga studio.

“I’m getting all kinds of great ideas. We’re going through a business plan – step by step working on the business plan,” Holodick said. “They are just as excited for me as I am so that really gives a good incentive for me to really push myself.”

SCORE has the opportunity to collaborate with area entrepreneur-focused organizations, such as the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) and Greater Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce, 162 W. Lincolnway in Valparaiso, the chapter’s home base.

“By meeting in Valparaiso and satellite offices, we can serve a cross-section of business owners as well as foster vibrant small business communities through mentoring and education,” Sheahan said. “The Valpo Chamber provides all services and support and the team gives generously of its time and resources.”

“We have conference rooms of all sizes and numerous meeting rooms where counselors can meet with business owners in private to offer assistance. It’s a great atmosphere and we make our facilities available at no cost to really help the SCORE chapter in its offerings of counseling, services and seminars,” said Greater Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce President Rex Richards. “We could not pay for this type of talent as the advisers are men and women who have been successful business operators themselves or they have been key executives in various areas of a successful business. They bring a wealth of information and talent.”

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer or meeting a SCORE mentor can call 219-462-1105, email nwinscore@gmail.com or visit www.northwestindiana.score.org

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