July 25, 2013 at 4:49 PM
WESTFIELD, NJ — Ever wish you had someone to guide you through starting and running your small business? You do.
SCORE—a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship—has been doing just that for nearly fifty years. Its work is supported by the US Small Business Administration (SBA). Thanks to a network of over 12,000 volunteers across the US, the association is able to offer counseling to small business owners at very low costs and often for free.
Bob Caruso is a Westfield resident who volunteers at the Newark chapter of SCORE.
“The SCORE volunteers are veterans of many types of businesses," said Caruso. "I have a chemical engineering background and have worked for many companies. The last company I worked for shut down due to economic issues. After that I opened a small business, which I’ve been running for seventeen years.”
Volunteerism is what separates SCORE from for-profit agencies offering help to small businesses.
“We’re not a company,” said Caruso. “Just former business people with experience and advice to share. We can be objective with our customers and not count minutes and charge companies for our time.”
Current and future small business owners looking to meet with a SCORE counselor locally can arrange a meeting at the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce by contacting the Newark chapter of SCORE at 973-442-6400 to connect with a Westfield volunteer.
In addition to mentors, SCORE provides online tools (such as lists of company goals and spreadsheets) and both local and online workshops, such as the upcoming “Social Media 101: Raise Awareness and Engage Customers” webinar July 30.
Learn more about SCORE at http://www.score.org/about-score.