Amid widespread business shutdowns, several local businesses turned to the Summit Biz Rebuild program for help in keeping their business afloat and successful. The program was run through the Summit Prosperity Initiative, a project of the Summit Chamber of Commerce.
The program utilized the Co.starters curriculum, which uses a community-based approach to economic development. It combined business learning material with weekly meetings among the cohort of 17, where local entrepreneurs, business owners and leaders could check in and share ideas.
The first cohort celebrated their graduation on Aug. 5 after a 10-session program. The cohort was comprised of professionals in businesses across several industries, including dining, media, wellness and retail. Amy Kemp with the Summit Prosperity Initiative said that while the program was planned to launch in March before the COVID-19 shutdown, it was adapted to fit the current needs of businesses and instead launched in May as the Rebuild program.
“What we were finding was that business owners were completely overwhelmed, they were uncertain, oftentimes they just didn’t know where to turn to,” Kemp said. “There were other resources out there but what we felt was missing was this opportunity to just step back, hit reset, look at their business model, get some education, get some advice, get some support.”