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WVU’s Encova Center to provide assistance program for area small businesses impacted by COVID-19

West Virginia University’s John Chambers College of Business and Economics is offering services to small businesses feeling the strain of prolonged closures or limited offerings stemming from the COVID-19 global pandemic. (WVU Photo)

West Virginia University’s John Chambers College of Business and Economics is offering services to small businesses feeling the strain of prolonged closures or limited offerings stemming from the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Nearly 40 Chambers College faculty and staff members are teaming up with the Encova Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which is part of the Chambers College, to provide a Small Business Assistance Program for the community.  

“These are difficult days for small businesses, and it’s critical that WVU works with our partners and local entrepreneurs to support them,” said Javier Reyes, dean of the Chambers College and vice president for Start-up West Virginia. “Entrepreneurs are resilient, and by connecting them with the right resources and support, small businesses will continue to be an economic cornerstone of our community for years to come.”

The program will assist nonprofits and small businesses in the region by offering free services such as assistance with loan applications, marketing, finances, business planning and more. These services will be provided remotely to ensure social distancing practices and in partnership with the Small Business Administration and Small Business Development Center.

“We have solicited the efforts of Chambers College faculty who are subject matter experts and can assist these small businesses. We have these experts that are on hand ready to help and donate their time,” said Anna Carrier, community business program lead of the Encova Center.

Community engagement is one of the three pillars that make up the Encova Center, along with entrepreneurial education and economic development. Helping area small businesses through this challenging time, Carrier said, felt like a natural fit for the Encova Center’s role.

“It has always been my mission and my passion to help small businesses,” she said. “I have a small business myself, and I know where these business owners are coming from; I’m filling out the applications alongside them for loans and SBA assistance. Not only is it part of our mission to help small businesses all of the time, but especially in a time of crisis.”

Any small business in the region is eligible. Those interested are asked to submit an intake form. For more information, contact Carrier at amccart1@mail.wvu.edu.

-WVU- 

bm/04/06/20

CONTACT: Brittany Murray
Senior Writer, Office of Strategic Communications
John Chambers College of Business and Economics
304-293-5927; brittany.murray@mail.wvu.edu

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Chambers College