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NC Small Business Coalition


A Pathway to Prosperity for All

In North Carolina, entrepreneurs and small-business owners are a cornerstone of our state’s economy. In rural, urban, and suburban areas alike, small businesses are essential to the fabric of our communities and are drivers of local economic development. As we emerge from a year that saw many businesses close their doors permanently following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the viability of countless other small firms remains in jeopardy. Looking ahead, it is paramount that the underlying systemic issues impacting the plight of our small-business sector are remedied with fiscally sound public policies to meet the short-term and long-term needs of North Carolina entrepreneurs and small-business owners.

In 2020, the NC Rural Center convened a Small Business Policy Task Force, led by a group of entrepreneurs, small-business advocates, and policymakers all dedicated to empowering North Carolina’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Leading with an equity-based, asset-focused, and data-driven approach, the Task Force’s goal was to develop an actionable policy agenda to advance the interests and goals of small-business owners across North Carolina. These efforts were guided by data and research, input from state partners, and most importantly, the voices of a diverse group of entrepreneurs (read our Regional Entrepreneur Focus Group Report).



North Carolina’s New Small Business Plan

The Small Business Policy Task Force, in collaboration with the NC Rural Center, has crafted a set of state-specific policy recommendations titled North Carolina’s New Small Business Plan. The recommendations set forth in this plan aim to leverage North Carolina’s existing assets and small-business infrastructure to build an equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem where entrepreneurs of color, women small-business owners, veterans, differently abled, and young small-business owners, have the tools and resources to succeed. This policy agenda addresses the interests and goals of small-business owners through the following focus areas: funding, support, opportunity, and knowledge.

Funding: Equal Access to the Right Kind of Capital Everywhere

We believe ensuring equitable access to capital for all entrepreneurs and small-business owners is critical to the success of North Carolina’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This is particularly true for business owners who are women, people of color, veterans, and differently abled individuals.
Read our Funding Recommendations Here


Support: The Ability for All to Take Risks
We believe that entrepreneurs must have adequate support resources not only while operating a business, but also before starting. The lack of access to health insurance and affordable high-speed broadband, among other issues, pose a serious barrier to those starting and growing a small business in North Carolina.
Read our Support Recommendations Here


Opportunity: An Equitable, Level Playing Field and Less Red Tape
We believe that capital, technical assistance, and other support resources must account for historical disparities. This includes disparities faced by women, people of color, low-to-moderate income individuals, rural entrepreneurs, and others who have consistently encountered systemic challenges at the startup and growth stages of business development.
Read our Opportunity Recommendations Here


Knowledge: The Know-How to Start a Business
We believe that North Carolina has a rich entrepreneurial ecosystem, but far more can be achieved through stronger coordination, marketing, and funding of our business resource providers. In addition, more must be done to support and reach new and emerging entrepreneurs established in the early academic years, as well as at the community college and collegiate levels.
Read our Knowledge Recommendations Here


Join the North Carolina Small Business Coalition

For North Carolina, especially rural North Carolina, to thrive, we have to take every effort possible to support our small businesses, their employees, and the communities they serve. 

Sign on as an individual or organizational supporter to be added to the growing North Carolina Small Business Coalition today – and voice your support in ensuring that entrepreneurs and small-business owners have equal access to the capital, resources, and tools needed to prosper.



Coalition Members

The NC Rural Center would like to thank all of the organizational and individual members who have voiced their support and dedication to fostering a more prosperous environment for small business owners and entrepreneurs in North Carolina.

* – Denotes a Small Business or Entrepreneur


Organizational Members

Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce (Hertford)

Albemarle Commission (Perquimans)

Alimentaire Wholesome Breads (Edgecombe)*

Andrews Chamber of Commerce (Cherokee)

Avery County Chamber of Commerce (Avery)

Belhaven Community Chamber and Welcome Center (Beaufort)

Benson Area Chamber of Commerce (Johnston)

Body & Soul Total Wellness, PLLC (Davidson)*

Boone Area Chamber of Commerce (Watauga)

Brian Hamilton Foundation (Wake)

Bright Owl Insurance (Transylvania)*

Brunswick Community College Small Business Center (Brunswick)

C&J’s Ambulette NEMT Inc. (Halifax)*

Cape Fear Community College, Small Business Center (New Hanover)

CaryPress International Books (Caswell)*

CEED (Cumberland)

Charlotte Community Care Corp. (Gaston)*

CollaborateNC (Johnston)*

Columbus Chamber of Commerce and Tourism (Columbus)

Constructive Learning Design (Wake)*

CornerSquare Community Capital (Southeast US)

Cynthia A Bolton DDS PA (Rockingham)*

Discovering Wellness LLC (Wake)*

Drain The Swamp llc (Moore)*

Eagle News Newspapers (Lenoir)*

EDU Footprints (Iredell)*

Entrepreneurial Places LLC (Durham)*

Fire Safe Associates (Wake)*

Firehouse Towing & Recovery, Inc (Transylvania)* 

Forsyth Partnership for Children and Families (Forsyth)

Fullsteam Brewery (Durham)*

Go Go Berries (Wayne)*

Halifax Community College Small Business Center (Halifax)

Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce (Vance)

Horsemanship Connection, LLC (Pitt)*

John Dempsey Parker Consulting (Wake)*

Lake Gaston Outfitters (Halifax)*

Leading To Change (Mecklenburg)*

Leading Purpose LLC (Rutherford)*

Lilly Consulting Group, LLC (Jackson)*

Logiscope Technology, LLC (Cumberland)*

Lolair Protection Agency, Inc. (Wake)

Manna Resources (Halifax)

Marion Business Association (McDowell)

Master Chang’s Martial Arts (Wake)*

McDowell County Chamber of Commerce (McDowell)

Mica Town Brewing (McDowell)*

Montreat College (Buncombe)

Moore County Chamber of Commerce (Moore)

Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce (Hertford)

NC 100 (Rockingham)

NC Appalachian Regional Commission Program (Western NC)

NC Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (Statewide NC)

North Carolina Employee Ownership Center (Durham)

Performentor LLC (Durham)*

Perquimans Chamber of Commerce (Perquimans)

Piedmont Food Processing Center (Orange)

Price Services Group (Sampson)*

Prospera (Mecklenburg)

pro-UP (Cabarrus)*

RE Health Group, LLC (Mecklenburg)*

Real Kitchen and Market (Guilford)*

Resourceful Clinical Laboratory (Mecklenburg)*

Revolve (Wake)*

Rockingham County Economic Development (Rockingham)

Rocky Mount Mayor’s Office (Edgecombe/Nash)

Rogers Property Management Services LLC (Granville)

Rose Associates (Mecklenburg)*

Sandhills Entrepreneurship Engagement Network (Robeson)

School of Thought, LLC (Guilford)*

Small Business & Technology Development Center (Statewide NC)

Smoky Mountain Harm Reduction (Macon)

SoleLife, Inc (Wake)*

Sugar She Shed (Hertford)*

The Blind Elephant (New Hanover)*

The Wilmington Small Business Coalition (New Hanover)

Thomas Entrepreneurship Hub (Robeson)

Thread Capital (Statewide NC)

Tina’s University for Tots (Northampton) *

Triangle Car Service LLC (Durham)*

Twin Counties Catalyst Collaboration Lab (Edgecombe/Nash)

UNCG Cross-Disciplinary Entrepreneurship Program (Guilford)

Unconditional Care Senior Services (NC & VA)*

UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (New Hanover)

VentureAsheboro (Randolph)

Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce (Washington/Beaufort)

Wayne Community College, Small Business Center (Wayne)

We Chic’d It! (Lincoln)*

WMGreensboro, LLC (Guilford) *

Western Rockingham Chamber of Commerce (Rockingham)

Your Business CCC llc (Hertford) *

Individual Members

Adam Knapp, KnappCreative Coaching (Buncombe)*

Adam Lane, Lane’s Automotive (Yadkin)*

Alan Fitzpatrick, Open Broadband LLC. (Union)*

Alton Bell, 24K Hauling Inc. (Craven)*

Amanda Shevette, Leading Purpose (Rutherford)*

Amy Carriker (Mecklenburg)*

Angel Thurston McCann (Rockingham)

Ashley Junkins, Alcheme (McDowell)*

Becky Bowen (Forsyth)

Ben Jacobs (Robeson)

Ben Kittner (Wake)

Beverly Danner, Danner Auto Sales (Catawba)*

Bill Slagle (Avery)

Brenda Coates, North Carolina Spirits Llc, DBA The Brandy Bar (Henderson)*

Caroline Bracey, CEB Marketing (Wilkes)*

Cassandra Collins, Innovations Salon and Spa (Graham)*

Charles Townsend, Fairmont Mayor and Entrepreneur (Robeson)*

Cheryl Griffin, Lulla Belle’s (Rockingham)*

Chris McCurry, Bark House (Avery)*

Dawn Daly-Mack, Double D Health & Safety (Northampton)*

Dennis Tracz, Accelerate Rural (Lenoir)*

Eileen Joyce (Mecklenburg)

Emily Causey, Mica Town Brewing (McDowell)*

Emmay Lawless (Buncombe)

Flotillo Watkins, WMGreensboro LLC (Guilford) *

Frince Williams (Edgecombe/Nash)

Giselle Corbie Smith, The GCS Group (Wake)*

Hallie Hawkins, Get It Together Workshops LLC. (Craven)*

Ifalade Ward, We Chic’d It! LLC, NC Lady Builders LLC* (Lincoln)

Jacob Evans (Durham)

Jan Olsen, FernCrest Winery (Cherokee)*

Janet Yates, Jan’s Daycare (Zebulon)*

Jason Pickett, Renewed Builders LLC. (Columbus)*

Jenafer Carelli, Carolina Strength Advisors LLC, DBA The Exercise Coach (Mecklenburg)*

Jennifer Holcomb, Joy by Journey (Columbus)*

Jessica Browning, Clayton Plumbing Inc. * (Johnston)

Jessica Hinnant, CollaborateNC (Johnston)*

JoAnn Stevens (Greene)

John Coggin (Lee)

John Dempsey Parkey, John Dempsey Parker Consulting (Wake)*

John Jonczak, The Barn at Heritage Farm (Surry)*

Jonathan Thill, The Rural Entrepreneurs Collective LLC, Carter Brady Inc, VentureAsheboro (Randolph)*

Karen Miller, Sweat Peas Café (Craven)*

Keisha Wilson-Bourne, Roots 2 Ends Hair Care Salon (Mecklenburg)*

Kelly W. Barber, KWB& Co. DBA Renaissance Spa & Salon (Halifax)*

Ken Walter (Avery)

LaVonia Lewis, Lewis’ Creative Designs (Columbus)*

Lea Henry, Two Rivers Development Partners LLC (Edgecombe/Nash)*

Lesley Brooks, Carolina Eye on Merrimon (Buncombe)*

Linda Lamp, Southwestern Commission (Haywood)

Dr. Malcolm Beech, Eagle News (Lenoir)*

Matt Smith, Four Star Specialties LLC DBA Kohl’s Frozen Custard (New Hanover)*

Nicole Monae, Posh Hair Concepts (Wake)*

Nina Walker (Moore)

Niruja Thakuri, Bottle Dog Bites & Brews (Wake)*

Noi Vong, QC Social Lounge (Mecklenburg)*

Olaunda Green, OG Coaching, LLC (Wake)*

Patricia Griffin, Grace Homemade Intl. LLC (Wake)*

Patrick Woodie, NC Rural Center (Wake)

Phyllis Williams (Cleveland)

Rhesa Edwards, Laconia Ale Works (Madison)*

Richard Basteri, Meraki Salon, Hygee Jewelry, Taliia’s Treats (Wake)*

Ronnie Huettmann, Acre Station Mean Farm Inc. (Beaufort)*

Russ Haddad, Core Development LLC (Orange)*

Sabrina Bengel, Bakers Kitchen, New Bern Tours (Craven)*

Samir Trivedi, SARO (Wake)*

Samuel Brown, GroundLion Brewing Co. (Randolph)*

Scott Stremmel, SCS Express LLC (Randolph)*

Stacey Keith, Apex Therapy LLC (Apex)*

Stephanie Tyson, Resourceful Healthcare Inc. (Mecklenburg)*

Stephanie Almeida, Full Circle Recovery Center LLC (Macon)*

Susan Reagan (Davie)

Susanna Oware, Sankofa Ethnic Beads & Baskets, AADAMPO (Wake)*

Tharesa Lee, Intentional Excellence (Craven)*

Todd Peebles, Todd Peebles Broker/Realtor (Forsyth)*

Tom Stone, Tom Stone One of a Kind Knives (Davidson)*

Trevian Hicks, Elevate With Tre LLC (Wake)*

Vanessa Cato, Creative Caribbean Catering (Wake)*

Victoria Newcombe, Kindred Spirits Vintage & Secondhand (Northampton)*

Vince Onorio, Safe Money Specialist (Carteret)*

Wendy Harris, Team Harris Real Estate (Cumberland)*

William MacRae, Lolair Protection Agency Inc. (Wake)*