One of the most important organizations that has always helped small businesses is SCORE with its 300 chapters and over 10,000 volunteers. They are there to offer help when entrepreneurs want it. Now during the pandemic, their free assistance is needed more than ever.
SCORE has established a special Resilience Hub to let small business owners connect with a mentor and help them navigate to specific COVID resources, discounts, grants, training materials and guides for industries. This site includes how to access a network where people can learn from each other.
Interview with Bridget Weston, SCORE Association
On the Small Business Radio Show this week, Bridget Weston who is the CEO of the SCORE Association, says her organization always has focused on being accessible to entrepreneurs even before the pandemic. For a long time, they have focused on using video technology to connect with small business owners wherever they were. Since they closed their in-person operations, Bridget believes they “did not miss a beat. Our services are up and so is the quality according to the people we help.”
In the early days of the pandemic, Bridget says small businesses were most concerned about how to get access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to increase their chances of survival. They are now helping people figure out how to fill out the PPP Loan Forgiveness application. Bridget is hopeful that there will be a second round of PPP for small business owners that really need it. Because “we need to have longer-term solutions since it is not going away anytime soon”.
SCORE is now focusing on helping small business owners engage and educate their customers even if it does not hit the bottom line today. Bridget believes it is critical to stay “top of mind so when you are ready to open your business again and customers are ready to come back, they will think of you.” In fact, she is seeing a trend in new startups as well which is typical during times of economic disruption.