Summit to shed light on job creation

Published 11:15 am Monday, December 12, 2011

AHOSKIE – Millions of dollars are earmarked for northeastern North Carolina counties and a summit here Tuesday, Dec. 13 will provide information on how local small businesses can benefit.

The Support Center, based in Durham that was recently awarded $2.25 million to use for lending and job creation in rural and underserved markets in northeastern counties, is hosting the summit that will bring together local economic leaders, small business service providers and other lenders to discuss ways to increase the access to capital in these underserved markets.

The all-day event will take place at Roanoke Chowan Community College’s Small Business Center.

In addition to The Support Center, the summit is being co-hosted by The NC Rural Economic Development Center, the NC Indian Economic Development Initiative and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Four panels of lenders, economic leaders and community based organization leaders will discuss ways they can better network to eliminate the barriers that prevent small business in this region from gaining the funding they need to help their business grow and thrive.

The panelists include Russ Haddard, U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield’s Community Representative; Cathy A. Scott of Halifax County Economic Development Office; Marshall Cherry of Roanoke Electric Cooperative; Vanessa McCleary of the City of Rocky Mount; Ivan Hankins, Small Business Administration Senior Area Manager; Brooks Batchelor, Associate Director of the NC Rural Center’s Capital Access Program; and Jeromy Bailey of Wells Fargo.

Small businesses are the main engine of job creation in the nation, accounting for 65% of net new jobs created between 1993 and 2009, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

According to a report published this year by the MSU Center for Community and Economic Development, “Most small businesses have found a lack of capital to be a problem and a barrier to future growth. If capital were more available to companies, greater job creation would result.”

The Support Center is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and statewide nonprofit organization established in 1990.  The Support Center partners with Community Development Credit Unions and other community-based organizations to provide small business and mortgage lending services to create economic opportunities for individuals, families, and communities in underserved markets across the state. Over the years, The Support Center lending programs have help to create or retain more than 1,100 jobs and provide real estate and consumer loans totaling more than $56 million.

To learn more about other Small Business lending programs offered by The Support Center, visit

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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