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The NC Rural Center and the Rural Counts advocacy team are pleased to announce the launch of the NC Small Business Advisory Council. Please join us in welcoming our inaugural council, consisting of twelve small business leaders and advocates from across the state:

Jose Alvarez, Prospera, North Carolina

Kelly Barber, Halifax County Small Business Center, KWB & Co.

Beverly Danner, Danner Auto Sales

Mike Hawkins, Pisgah Enterprises

Ariana Billingsley, SBTDC

David Mayo, Crisp Small Business Resource Center at ECU

Vicki Lee Parker-High, North Carolina Business Council

Kevin Price, The Institute

Anne Shaw, NC Small Business Center Network

Lissette Velez, NC Hispanic Contractors Association of the Carolinas

Scott Wolford, Carolina Community Impact

The NC Small Business Advisory Council will continue the work of the Rural Center’s Small Business Policy Task Force, which was convened in September 2020 and led the drafting of North Carolina’s New Small Business Plan: A Pathway to Prosperity for All.

In the passage of the baton, the NC Small Business Advisory Council will also serve as a leading voice in the continued advocacy for North Carolina’s New Small Business Plan and its recommendations around facilitating a more resilient, inclusive, and equitable small-business ecosystem.

Council members will use their expertise and reach to inform and guide the Rural Center’s small business advocacy priorities, while identifying new opportunities and challenges for the initiative. Members will also serve as ambassadors for the NC Small Business Coalition, a growing network of more than 400 small business owners, business support providers, nonprofits, local governments, and entrepreneurship advocates across the state

With each council member bringing decades of expertise and small business experience to the initiative, we are confident their collective efforts will help usher in a brighter future for North Carolina’s new and existing entrepreneurs.