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New director begins at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Small Business Center

CONCORD — Megan Smit started as the director of the Small Business Center at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College at the beginning of June.

The goal of the Small Business Center is to provide services to help the small business community in Rowan and Cabarrus counties, Smit said. Services might include education or one-on-one counseling. Although the functions of the center are broad, they might include assisting an entrepreneur set up their business or helping a current small business owner create a business plan, Smit said.

Smit formerly worked at the community college in the Continuing Education Division, which focuses on short-term workforce training.

The beginning of her tenure comes in the midst of COVID-19. She says that the changes brought by the pandemic represent a challenge at times, as they do for the small businesses that use the services of the Small Business Center.

“Everybody’s facing a unique situation,” she said. “At the same time, we’re all in this together.”

One way that the Small Business Center is responding to the times is with a new program called BRACE, which stands for “Businesses Rebound as COVID Evolves.” More details about the program will be released in coming weeks, Smit, said, but it will feature resources and education for small businesses to use in the context of the pandemic.

“I am grateful to step into this role during a time of challenge and uncertainty. I think that provides a unique position to help,” she said.

Smit grew up in a small town and says she came to understand the value of small businesses. It’s about more than just a product, she said. It’s also about knowing that you’re supporting your neighbors and friends.

One of her goals in her new position is to be known and accessible to small business owners in the area so that she can be of better service to them.

“I’m passionate about small business and community,” she said. “I need to be out there with the people. We’re stronger together.”

Her other goals for her time in the position include increasing awareness of the existence of the Small Business Center at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. All North Carolina community colleges have small business centers, Smit said. That said, “we are a resource that remains a well-kept secret,” she explained.

The center provides more than specific programs to small business owners, who can reach out to the center to get one-on-one support free of charge as well, Smit said.

The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce often collaborates with the Small Business Center, said Chamber President Elaine Spalding.

“We are really pleased with the new hire,” she said.

Upcoming small business programming at the Small Business Center include one titled “NC Department of Revenue and COVID-19” on June 30 and July 7, as well as one titled “How to Start a Business” on July 14. They can be registered for online.

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