Envision Williamston offers programs for new businesses

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By David Meade
The Town of Williamston through Envision Williamston currently has two grant programs available designed to help local businesses or to start a new business in Williamston.
Envision Williamston is currently taking applications for Facade Improvement Grants and a Main Street Challenge.

The Facade Improvement program provides for a one-time reimbursement grant up to $2,000 with the business owner providing a match of 50%.
Improvements eligible for a grant include exterior cosmetic and/or structural building improvements, painting, signage, windows, and awnings which are visible from the street.
Applications for the Facade Improvement Grant Program will be accepted through April 28.
The Main Street Challenge Program is an entrepreneurial start-up competition for the purpose of generating additional retail occupancy in Williamston.
Anyone considering a new business or new business location is eligible for an incentive package in excess of $10,000 that will be awarded.
Envision Williamston encourages anyone interested to apply.
“The program sponsors hope to help as many prospective entrepreneurs as possible; and even if an applicant doesn’t receive one of the two $10,000 awards, they can obtain free counseling and assistance with developing their business and financial plan,” Envision Williamston Executive Director Sonya Crandall said.
Additional benefits for the first year of operation include: quarterly advertising in the local newspaper, banking assistance, free internet and telephone service (1 line), and complimentary membership in the Palmetto Business Association.
Each semi-finalist will receive essential counseling on how to start-up a business and on refining their entrepreneurial concept and business plan.
The Small Business Development Center at Clemson University is spearheading this effort and will offer workshops and mentors for those participating.
Funding for the Facade Improvement program is provided through the Palmetto Business Association in partnership with The Municipal Association of South Carolina and Envision Williamston (EW).
The Main Street Challenge Program is co-sponsored by The Town of Williamston and Innovate Anderson.
For more information om either program, go to: www://envisionwilliamston.com.
For more information: www.envisionwilliamston.com or contact Sonya at sonyacew@gmail.com
Also anyone thinking of starting a new business is invited to a complimentary workshop next Tuesday, April 25, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Williamston Town Hall.
The Biscuits and Business program is sponsored by: First Citizens Bank & Trust of Williamston. Coffee and biscuits will be provided.
Ben Smith, Area Manager and Business Development Specialist at the Clemson Area Small Business Development Center will speak.
Topics to be covered include:
*Developing a business plan
*Developing a financial plan
*The importance of small business
*The odds of launching a successful business
*Mitigating the odds
*Available resources to lean on
For more information contact Faye K. Meares, Vice President at First Citizens Bank & Trust located at 113 E. Main St., Williamston by phone: 864-847-4501or email faye.meares@firstcitizens.com.