The Community and Business Development Department is highly devoted to promoting the growth of business enterprises in the Winston-Salem area. Numerous entrepreneurs approach the department weekly for assistance in writing business plans and starting businesses. In an effort to reach more individuals, the department will be hosting a Small Business Plan Competition this spring. The goal of the competition is to provide seed money to help more entrepreneurs get their business ideas to fruition.
The winner of the competition will win:
- $5,000 grant for startup costs
- $5,000 potential matching micro-loan
- Free Change of Use Review (valued at $250) by the Inspections Division to evaluate what changes and expenses are needed to bring a proposed business location into building and safety code compliance
- Opportunity to apply to Small Business Loan Program
An incentive for entering the competition is that the department will provide assistance to participants throughout the competition to ensure that they are fully capable to compose a winning business plan. In addition, participants of the Section 3/MWBE Business Training Program [pdf] which ran from October 4 through December 6 are especially invited to participate in the competition. This nine-week program teaches budding entrepreneurs about various aspects of starting a business including market analysis and marketing, accounting, insurance and legal concerns, finding money and writing a business plan.
To be eligible for the business competition, submissions must be for micro-businesses (5 employees or less) and must be potentially located within the NRSA (Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area). This area has been identified by the City of Winston-Salem as being prime for needed development and investment. The NRSA includes downtown and portions of the northern, eastern and southern quadrants of the city. Lastly, business plans must create low to moderate-income jobs and/or provide benefit to the low to moderate-income community.
Timeline for the competition
- TBA - an informational meeting to discuss the business plan competition will be held at 6:00 p.m. in the 5th floor conference room of the Bryce Stuart Municipal Building located at 100 E. First Street in downtown Winston-Salem.
- TBA - executive summaries and business descriptions are due. Judges will review the submittals and select the top finalists that will go to the final round. Information can be dropped off in the Community and Business Development Department office located on the fourth floor of the Bryce Stewart Municipal Building.
- TBA - final draft business plans are due for evaluation by the Small Business Loan Committee.
- TBA- a winner of the competition will be announced.
If you are interested in joining or learning more about the Micro-Enterprise Business Loan Competition, please contact Ruben Gonzales, Business Development Administrator, at (336) 747-7474 or email@example.com.