Fledgling entrepreneurs who seek assistance from Southern Utah University’s Business Resource Center may profit from the advice of a retired executive with a track record of business success, thanks to the BRC’s affiliation with SCORE.
SCORE — the Service Corps of Retired Executives — bills itself as “Counselors to America’s Small Business.” The non-profit association is dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow and succeed nationwide.
A resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, SCORE has 12,400 volunteers and 364 chapters throughout the United States, including one in St. George.
SUU’s BRC hosts a satellite of the St. George chapter with six retired business executives who, having qualified through SCORE’s rigorous screening program, currently volunteer to advise would-be entrepreneurs in Iron, Washington, Kane, Garfield and Beaver counties.
“Right now, our volunteer group is an adjunct of the St. George SCORE chapter, but we’re growing, and we want to form our own chapter,” said Craig Isom, BRC director and professional-in-residence on the SUU School of Business faculty.
“We’re probably a year or a little more away from having our own chapter,” he added. “We only need enough of our own volunteers; the support structure is already in place.”
Current BRC SCORE volunteers include Neal Smith, a former marketing executive with Sears Roebuck Co., and Joanne Brattain, former vice president of field marketing at Documentum Inc. and Emc Corp.
Among other things, SCORE volunteers teach in the BRC’s monthly workshop titled StartSmart, which caters to people interested in starting their own businesses.
At StartSmart, Isom said, entrepreneurs received “the information they need to consider if they’re going to be successful running their own business.”
SCORE volunteers teach the rudiments of writing a business plan, strategies for securing finance and basic marketing principles. They also provide training in how to run a business on a day-to-day basis.
In addition to one-on-one counseling with entrepreneurs, SCORE volunteers will assist BRC staff with the Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) program, designed to assist existing businesses by advising them on growth strategies and counseling them through adverse circumstances.
“By adding the SCORE affiliation to the Business Resource Center, we are expanding our outreach capacity and gaining momentum,” Isom said. “We urge retired executives to give us a hand and help Cedar City business grow and go.”
SUU’s Business Resource Center is a program of the SUU School of Business and the Office of Government Relations and Regional Services.
Wesley Curtis, SUU’s Vice President for Government Relations and Regional Services, calls the center is a “one‐stop shopping center for business support. Whether you want to start a business, secure financing, learn how to create a business plan, or need help with accounting, advertising, marketing, copyright issues or patents, the BRC can help. And best of all, it’s free.”