There's still time to be a part of Marion's award-winning "Pop Up Marion Entrepreneur Training." Classes will begin Oct. 15 and continue through Dec. 2.

To date, Marion's Department of Community and Economic Development has held 13 classes, trained 275, sold 11 buildings, filled an additional 22 storefronts, and created 30 new businesses and 118 new jobs, spurring over $2.1 million in private reinvestment. The program is being used from Altavista to Abingdon, Bristol to Bluefield, South Boston to South Hill as the Gold Standard for entrepreneur training. 

"It's designed to move folks from the couch to the cash register," said founder Ken Heath. "It's a proven success story, where folks interested in exploring business opportunities can learn every step of how to develop a business plan, run a successful business, and live their American Dream."  

The classes are offered free of charge, and are held Tuesday evenings at 6 at the Henderson School (203 North Church Street) beginning Oct. 15.  Participants are eligible to be considered for up to $5,000 in grant funds to assist with rent and utilities for up to six months, provided by Wells Fargo and the town of Marion, and for up to $15,000 in low-interest loan funds provided by the USDA Rural Development Town of Marion Small Business Loan Pool. Businesses must locate or expand within the Town of Marion, and participants must attend all five classes to graduate. 

For additional information, contact Heath at 276-378-5026.

The class schedule will include: Oct. 15, welcome and overview, Ken Heath, Alex Veatch, Cyndi McCloskey; Oct. 22, credit scores, Josh Smith; Oct. 29, finance and legal, Corky Sheets, Ken Heath; Nov. 5, marketing, Sandy Ratliff, Alex Veatch; Nov. 12, pitch night, Ken Heath, Alex Veatch, Sandy Ratliff, Jamie Sexton, Brian Reed; Nov. 26, business plans due, Review Team; Dec. 2, awards announced.                     

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