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NewsThursday, August 15, 2013
Representatives from Tri-County Technical College and the Tri-County Entrepreneurial Development Corporation (TCEDC) formally entered into a partnership Monday that supports small business development, as well as economic growth in the tri-county area.
TCEDC Chief Executive Officer Dave Eldridge, seated, right, and Tri-County President Ronnie L. Booth, seated, left, signed an agreement that enhances the organizations' partnership and dedication to helping small businesses develop and expand to create new jobs. Also pictured are (standing from left) John Lummus, vice president for economic and institutional advancement at the College; Richard Blackwell, Oconee County economic development director; Michael Hehir, TCEDC secretary and Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) mentor; and Jim Gadd, executive director of Oconee Alliance.
College and TCEDC Formally Enter into Partnership That Supports Small Business Development, Economic Growth
CONTACT: DAVE ELDRIDGE, 864-719-0023 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 8/12/2013
(By Lisa Garrett)
PENDLETON --- Representatives from Tri-County Technical College and the Tri-County Entrepreneurial Development Corporation (TCEDC) formally entered into a partnership Monday that supports small business development, as well as economic growth in the tri-county area.
TCEDC Chief Executive Officer Dave Eldridge and Tri-County President Ronnie L. Booth signed an agreement that enhances the organizations' partnership and dedication to helping small businesses develop and expand to create new jobs.
Originally established as the Mountain Lakes Business Development Corporation and recently renamed TCEDC, the Walhalla-based organization began two years ago as a result of efforts by local business and community leaders who saw a need for a non-profit organization devoted to helping small businesses with start up and guidance on the pathway to success, said Eldridge. TCEDC is located at 104 Brown's Square in Walhalla.
"We saw the need for professional training programs directed towards small businesses getting started and properly organized, as well as becoming proficient in the many aspects of business management. We've always had a strong partnership with Tri-County and the South Carolina Small Business Development Center at Clemson," Eldridge added. The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) came on board later to donate their time and expertise as volunteer business counselors and provide counseling and mentoring at no charge to the business, he said.
"We conduct a no-cost training program at Tri-County monthly. Usually there are between 10 and 25 participants who are considering starting a business or have been in business for some period but need guidance and support to get to the next level," added Eldridge, who also serves as a mentor.
Over these two years, Eldridge says this group of volunteers has done an outstanding job in working with the clients but saw a shortfall in keeping up with the administrative tasks. The contract arrangement with Tri-County provides administrative support for the TCEDC with training programs, seminars, and grant writing and research, along with continuing to provide training space and instructors. "With this agreement we have access to skills that will help us get to the next level of growth and prosperity in our three-county region, thereby adding new jobs to our communities," said Eldridge.
"This agreement makes TCEDC and Tri-County really tightly bound together as partners in moving to the next phase of success," he said.
"This is a great opportunity for the Economic Development leadership of our three county area. Each of the various organizations are dedicated to assisting our businesses in getting better at what they do, and at the same time to creating more jobs within the small business community," said Eldridge.
He specifically applauded the efforts of leaders in Oconee County, whom he says were key players in the early initiative. The Oconee County Council, Administrator Scott Moulder, Economic Development Director Richard Blackwell and the Oconee Alliance really took the lead in working with us to make this happen. Without them we would not be where we are today," he said
"This is another opportunity for the College to engage with our Oconee community partners," said John Lummus, vice president for economic and institutional advancement at Tri-County. "The TCEDC's goal is to grow small business in the tri-county area to improve economic development. Our role here at Tri-County is to improve the economy by offering courses for small businesses to be successful."
Upcoming events include Tri-County Program Coordinator Sandra Strickland discussing the partnership on WSNW's Coffee Talk segment September 24 and a small business startup class October 3 at the Oconee County QuickJobs Center. In addition, a course to help current small businesses grow, Business Immersion: NxLevel for Entrepreneurs, is set for September 17.
For more information on the small business programs, visit www.tctc.edu/smallbusiness.