SoBo Start-Up!

The planning committee for SoBo Start-Up! finalizes plans for the January kick-off event. The six-week business development boot camp program is for all levels of entrepreneurs and program participants who will vie for a portion of grant funds to help get their business started. The committee includes Lin Hite, director, South Boston, Virginia Small Business Development Center; Olivia Epps, president, Mix & Ripple, LLC; Tamyra Vest, executive director, Destination Downtown South Boston; South Boston Town Manager Tom Raab; Mitzi McCormick, president, Halifax County Chamber of Commerce; and South Boston Town Councilman Robert Hughes. Not pictured is Gene Haugh, president, Destination Downtown South Boston Board of Directors.

With the start of the New Year, Destination Downtown South Boston will begin SoBo Start-Up!, a six-week business development boot camp program for all levels of entrepreneurs.

Participants can be individuals with new business plans or individuals with an established business who are seeking to revamp their future business plans or expand.

The kickoff for SoBo Start-Up! will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 12 in the Southern Virginia Higher Education Foundation Board Room located in the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center. Individuals curious to learn more about SoBo Start-Up! or obtain an application for the program should plan to attend.

“Destination Downtown South Boston is very fortunate to be one of five groups in Virginia to receive a Virginia Community Business Launch grant which Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced back in October,” said Tamyra Vest, executive director of Destination Downtown South Boston (DDSB). “These funds are a valuable resource, and SoBo Start-Up! will allow us to aid individuals who are working to bring their business to the Town of South Boston.”

The Virginia Community Business Launch initiative was created to help localities with their efforts to foster a more robust entrepreneurial environment.

A team comprised of DDSB members and representatives of the town of South Boston, the Longwood Small Business Development Center and the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce have been working for numerous weeks to get the program finalized and ready to share with the community.

“We already have about a half-dozen individuals we’ve been communicating with about the program, and we look forward to having them, as well as other interested entrepreneurs, attend on Jan. 12,” said Vest. “We’ll have other South Boston business owners at the event, and we hope the kickoff will give interested people a chance to ask questions, learn more and socialize.”

Following the kick-off event, budding entrepreneurs can apply to participate in classes that are set to begin on March 7.

Classes will cover topics such as business plan and business pitch development, business operations, financials and marketing.

The program culminates with a business competition at the end of April, at which time participants will present their business pitch and their full business plan to vie for a portion of the grant funds.

The program can hold as many as 30 participants, and the goal at the program’s completion is to have three new businesses open in the town of South Boston and at least five jobs created.

Those planning to attend the kickoff on Jan. 12 should call 434-575-4209 or visit www.downtownsobo.com to RSVP online.