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Small business coach job posted

BUCKHANNON – Upshur County soon will be home to a valuable resource for area small businesses.

The West Virginia Small Business Development Center will bring a small business coach to the Upshur County Development Authority’s office on Main Street, according to Executive Director Rob Hinton.

The state employee position will include state health and retirement benefit packages. The job posting has been approved by the West Virginia Department of Personnel.

Business coaches operate from centers distributed across West Virginia. They collaborate with other coaches in the statewide network to help entrepreneurs sustain and expand their businesses. The network makes it possible for small business owners anywhere in the state to call on WVSBDC specialists certified in areas such as capital access, innovation and technology, exporting and federal contracts, according to SBC officials.

“The Small Business Development center brings a tremendous number of resources to small businesses and entrepreneurs,” Hinton said. “Having a coach located in this region will offer those resources free of charge. It’s critical not only for small business development but also for economic development.”

Hinton is asking local officials to reach out to their networks to notify individuals who may be good candidates to the position. All applications will go through the West Virginia Department of Personnel, but the Development Authority will be involved in the interview and selection process.

The small business coach’s services will include Upshur and other surrounding counties in the region, said Melodie Stemple, assistant director of the Development Authority.

“It’s a great opportunity to have them here in Upshur County to help entrepreneurs and small business owners,” she said. “This will provide valuable resources and learning opportunities. Sometimes businesses start a little too soon, before they are ready, and you see them fail. This is a great opportunity to provide the resources to help them succeed.”

The position is being relocated from Summersville to Buckhannon, Upshur County Commission President J.C. Raffety said.

“We would definitely encourage all interested applicants to apply. It’s a worthy position. I think it will be a benefit to have such a position here in Upshur County. It will be a good resource for a lot of people who own and operate their own businesses,” he said.

The Small Business Development Center is part of the West Virginia Development Office and creates economic impact through offering entrepreneurs and small businesses cost-effective business coaching and technical assistance. The West Virginia SBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Center also is an Accredited Member of America’s Small Business Development Center Network.

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