Donate Now

Make a difference in rural North Carolina

PayPal secure payments.

 


 

 

LEADERSHIP

The STEP for Small Business Community Loan Fund works with individuals from across rural North Carolina who have sound ideas for starting or expanding a small business but may have difficulty obtaining a loan from traditional sources.  Here are a few details about the fund:

 

WHAT DOES THE SMALL BUSINESS COMMUNITY LOAN FUND OFFER?

-  Loan amounts range from $500 to $25,000 for small business startup or expansion

-  All loans are offered in combination with business planning and technical assistance

-  Loans will be reviewed by a local committee and serviced by the Rural Center

-  Loan funds may be used to purchase equipment, inventory, or as working capital

-  The loan fund does not compete with banks or other lenders, but rather, it is designed to serve as gap funding or complementary financing for small businesses

 

WHERE ARE FUNDS AVAILABLE? Modeled

There are STEP for Small Business Community Loan Funds established in seven rural North Carolina towns:

 

-        Elizabethtown

-        Elkin

-        Lansing

-        Marion

-        Scotland Neck

-        Siler City

-        Star


 


WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

Please contact your local loan officer for the specific requirements for your towns loan fund. (found below)

Basic requirements are:

-  You wish to start or expand a small business.

-  Your business is located _______ (towns to define area)

-  You are 18 years or older

-  And, of course, you have to have a sound business idea.

The fund also encourages applications from low-income, female and minority borrowers.  The only way to be sure if you qualify is to apply.

 

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

Contact your local loan officer or the Rural Center staff for more information. To apply, complete and submit a pre-application. Once received, your local loan officer and a member of the Rural Center staff will help you through the remainder of the process.Click here to start your application.

 

 

CONTACTS

 

Amanda Sorrells

Director of Entrepreneurship

N.C. Rural Center

asorrells@ncruralcenter.org

(919) 250-4314

 

Billie Hall

Elizabethtown Loan Officer

bhall@elizabethtownnc.org

(910) 862-2066

 

Freddie Killough

Marion Loan Officer

freddiek@frontier.com

(828) 652-2215 

 

Nancy Jackson

Scotland Neck Loan Officer

Njackson@townofscotlandneck.com

(252) 826-3152

Connect Carteret opens small biz incubator, thanks to Rural Center initiative

     
misty 2By Misty Herget
Director of Leadership
 
 
Connect Carteret, a group that offers professional development, community engagement and networking opportunities to young adults, recently launched the KickStart Carteret business incubator as part of the New Generation Leaders grant program. KickStart Carteret offers a creative work space with state-of-the-art technology, individual work stations and a full conference room.

Kickstart CarteretLocal community leaders gathered recently for KickStart's grand opening ceremony. (Pictured, from left to right: Misty Herget, First South Bank Market Executive Jeremy Dickinson, N.C. Sen. Norman Sanderson, Morehead City Mayor Jerry Jones, Connect Carteret Co-Chair Christina Fulcher and Will Rogers, Connect Carteret member).

"This innovative project will provide a number of long-term economic advantages for local entrepreneurs," Herget said. "Connect Carteret really came together and invested a lot of time and energy to assess the needs of the community, and design a project to meet those challenges."

Connect Carteret is a program of the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce, which received the grant.  

The New Generation Leaders program awarded $20,000 grants for a series of community endeavors. Additional New Generation Leaders projects:

Avery County Schools — Sponsored a college scholarship for a student planning to return to Avery County.

Edgecombe County Cooperative Extension — Supported a summer food program and a summer camp program, in addition to remodeling a community basketball court.

Harnett County — Started a community farm stand. Local youth have a community garden and are growing and selling produce to the broader community.

Haywood County — Designed and placed informational, educational and wayfinding signs and marketing materials for the county's greenway system.

Maysville — In progress.

River City Community Development Corporation — Planted five community gardens in neighborhoods with lower access to fresh produce.

Mt. Airy Professionals of Surry County — Revitalized a downtown alleyway to include seating, planters, lights and a stage.

Rural-Assembly-2015-Logo H copy

 

Presentations

Monday, Setember 28

Workshops

Beyond Broadband: Rural Physical Infrastructure

Leveraging Connectivity: Rural Health, Community and Broadband

Affordable High Speed School Construction for Rural Communities

Passing the Torch: Farm and Small Business Succession Planning

New Statewide International Strategy — What it Means for Rural N.C.

 

Tuesday, September 29

Building Rural North Carolina's Advocacy Agenda

Framing the Broadband Discussion

Rural Broadband Deployment Models

Expanding our Leadership: High-Speed Education

Broadband to Community Anchor Institutions

Community Initiatives: Rural Communities Meeting their Broadband Needs

Broadband as a Rural Jobs Engine

Broadband Funding Overview

The 2015 Rural Award winners were honored at a banquet the evening before the N.C. Rural Assembly.

Click here for full descriptions of each award winner.

 

siler city

howard jones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

brittany eller

justin puckett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

entegra bank

 NCIF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

wanda bennett

 

 

 

 

 

Rural-Assembly-2015-Logo H copy

 

Feedback

Please let us know what you thought about the N.C. Rural Assembly! Drop us a note: info@ncruralcenter.org

 

Here’s a sampling of the great comments we’ve received about the 2015 Rural Assembly:
•    The Assembly was great! I really appreciate the knowledge gained, steps or suggested steps to proceed, and perspectives from diverse [speakers].  The hotel and meeting space was exemplary. The attendance was diverse. I met people from a broader background, thus expanding my network. The overall content was powerful … the speakers were excellent and well prepared. Looking forward to Rural Assembly 2016!
•    Robust mix of exceptional panelists
•    Exceptional value to attending this Rural Assembly
•    I am genuinely thrilled to have met today. You and your staff made a technical event remarkable, with many take-aways. We can and will move the needle in rural N.C.
•    [The N.C. Rural Assembly] was a great experience and I was especially impressed with the keynote speech [by Jonathan Chambers].
•    Thank you again for the opportunity to participate in this year’s Rural Assembly. I found the day and the evening before both enjoyable and very informative, as well as inspiring!
•    With each of my passing years living in North Carolina (since 1988), I become more and more proud of our state. My experience at your 2015 N. C. Rural Assembly has added tons more reasons to be proud of our state!
•    From my perspective, it was great!  I know when I leave these meetings with the Rural Center, I always feel re-energized to keep plugging away [back home].
•    Thanks again for all you do on behalf of us in North Carolina’s rural communities. I look forward to our continued relationship and the opportunity to put to use some of what I learned.
•    So glad the second Rural Assembly was such a success. You’re proving that the Rural Center’s importance is about far more than grants.

AND, thank you for the constructive feedback on how to make the 2016 Rural Assembly even better:
•    Allow more time for the audience to interact with some of the speakers
•    Not enough time per panel to allow questions from attendees
•    Maybe the Rural Assembly is getting close to a full, two-day conference. Consider starting earlier on the first day and ending earlier on the last day.

LEADERSHIP

The STEP for Small Business Community Loan Fund works with individuals from across rural North Carolina who have sound ideas for starting or expanding a small business but may have difficulty obtaining a loan from traditional sources.  Here are a few details about the fund:

 

WHAT DOES THE SMALL BUSINESS COMMUNITY LOAN FUND OFFER?

-  Loan amounts range from $500 to $25,000 for small business startup or expansion

-  All loans are offered in combination with business planning and technical assistance

-  Loans will be reviewed by a local committee and serviced by the Rural Center

-  Loan funds may be used to purchase equipment, inventory, or as working capital

-  The loan fund does not compete with banks or other lenders, but rather, it is designed to serve as gap funding or complementary financing for small businesses

 

WHERE ARE FUNDS AVAILABLE? Modeled

There are STEP for Small Business Community Loan Funds established in seven rural North Carolina towns:

 

-        Elizabethtown

-        Elkin

-        Lansing

-        Marion

-        Scotland Neck

-        Siler City

-        Star


 


WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

Please contact your local loan officer for the specific requirements for your towns loan fund. (found below)

Basic requirements are:

-  You wish to start or expand a small business.

-  Your business is located _______ (towns to define area)

-  You are 18 years or older

-  And, of course, you have to have a sound business idea.

The fund also encourages applications from low-income, female and minority borrowers.  The only way to be sure if you qualify is to apply.

 

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

Contact your local loan officer or the Rural Center staff for more information. To apply, complete and submit a pre-application. Once received, your local loan officer and a member of the Rural Center staff will help you through the remainder of the process.Click here to start your application.

 

 

CONTACTS

 

Amanda Sorrells

Director of Entrepreneurship

N.C. Rural Center

asorrells@ncruralcenter.org

(919) 250-4314

 

Billie Hall

Elizabethtown Loan Officer

bhall@elizabethtownnc.org

(910) 862-2066

 

Freddie Killough

Marion Loan Officer

freddiek@frontier.com

(828) 652-2215 

 

Nancy Jackson

Scotland Neck Loan Officer

Njackson@townofscotlandneck.com

(252) 826-3152

Connect Carteret opens small biz incubator, thanks to Rural Center initiative

     
misty 2By Misty Herget
Director of Leadership
 
 
Connect Carteret, a group that offers professional development, community engagement and networking opportunities to young adults, recently launched the KickStart Carteret business incubator as part of the New Generation Leaders grant program. KickStart Carteret offers a creative work space with state-of-the-art technology, individual work stations and a full conference room.

Kickstart CarteretLocal community leaders gathered recently for KickStart's grand opening ceremony. (Pictured, from left to right: Misty Herget, First South Bank Market Executive Jeremy Dickinson, N.C. Sen. Norman Sanderson, Morehead City Mayor Jerry Jones, Connect Carteret Co-Chair Christina Fulcher and Will Rogers, Connect Carteret member).

"This innovative project will provide a number of long-term economic advantages for local entrepreneurs," Herget said. "Connect Carteret really came together and invested a lot of time and energy to assess the needs of the community, and design a project to meet those challenges."

Connect Carteret is a program of the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce, which received the grant.  

The New Generation Leaders program awarded $20,000 grants for a series of community endeavors. Additional New Generation Leaders projects:

Avery County Schools — Sponsored a college scholarship for a student planning to return to Avery County.

Edgecombe County Cooperative Extension — Supported a summer food program and a summer camp program, in addition to remodeling a community basketball court.

Harnett County — Started a community farm stand. Local youth have a community garden and are growing and selling produce to the broader community.

Haywood County — Designed and placed informational, educational and wayfinding signs and marketing materials for the county's greenway system.

Maysville — In progress.

River City Community Development Corporation — Planted five community gardens in neighborhoods with lower access to fresh produce.

Mt. Airy Professionals of Surry County — Revitalized a downtown alleyway to include seating, planters, lights and a stage.

Rural-Assembly-2015-Logo H copy

 

Presentations

Monday, Setember 28

Workshops

Beyond Broadband: Rural Physical Infrastructure

Leveraging Connectivity: Rural Health, Community and Broadband

Affordable High Speed School Construction for Rural Communities

Passing the Torch: Farm and Small Business Succession Planning

New Statewide International Strategy — What it Means for Rural N.C.

 

Tuesday, September 29

Building Rural North Carolina's Advocacy Agenda

Framing the Broadband Discussion

Rural Broadband Deployment Models

Expanding our Leadership: High-Speed Education

Broadband to Community Anchor Institutions

Community Initiatives: Rural Communities Meeting their Broadband Needs

Broadband as a Rural Jobs Engine

Broadband Funding Overview

The 2015 Rural Award winners were honored at a banquet the evening before the N.C. Rural Assembly.

Click here for full descriptions of each award winner.

 

siler city

howard jones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

brittany eller

justin puckett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

entegra bank

 NCIF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

wanda bennett

 

 

 

 

 

Rural-Assembly-2015-Logo H copy

 

Feedback

Please let us know what you thought about the N.C. Rural Assembly! Drop us a note: info@ncruralcenter.org

 

Here’s a sampling of the great comments we’ve received about the 2015 Rural Assembly:
•    The Assembly was great! I really appreciate the knowledge gained, steps or suggested steps to proceed, and perspectives from diverse [speakers].  The hotel and meeting space was exemplary. The attendance was diverse. I met people from a broader background, thus expanding my network. The overall content was powerful … the speakers were excellent and well prepared. Looking forward to Rural Assembly 2016!
•    Robust mix of exceptional panelists
•    Exceptional value to attending this Rural Assembly
•    I am genuinely thrilled to have met today. You and your staff made a technical event remarkable, with many take-aways. We can and will move the needle in rural N.C.
•    [The N.C. Rural Assembly] was a great experience and I was especially impressed with the keynote speech [by Jonathan Chambers].
•    Thank you again for the opportunity to participate in this year’s Rural Assembly. I found the day and the evening before both enjoyable and very informative, as well as inspiring!
•    With each of my passing years living in North Carolina (since 1988), I become more and more proud of our state. My experience at your 2015 N. C. Rural Assembly has added tons more reasons to be proud of our state!
•    From my perspective, it was great!  I know when I leave these meetings with the Rural Center, I always feel re-energized to keep plugging away [back home].
•    Thanks again for all you do on behalf of us in North Carolina’s rural communities. I look forward to our continued relationship and the opportunity to put to use some of what I learned.
•    So glad the second Rural Assembly was such a success. You’re proving that the Rural Center’s importance is about far more than grants.

AND, thank you for the constructive feedback on how to make the 2016 Rural Assembly even better:
•    Allow more time for the audience to interact with some of the speakers
•    Not enough time per panel to allow questions from attendees
•    Maybe the Rural Assembly is getting close to a full, two-day conference. Consider starting earlier on the first day and ending earlier on the last day.