Free mentorship program helps small businesses

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- "The biggest thing was, you helped me off the ledge, I was so scared,"

Gym owner Rhonda Murphy is no stranger to hard work. Still, the small business owner found herself having a challenging time applying for the federal programs she needed to keep her business going.

She got a little help from SCORE, a resource partner of the Small Business Administration.

"They were giving me the guidance and telling me how to navigate through this. If I didn't have them, I don't know what I would do. Because I don't have any of this stuff, I am brand new to this stuff. I'm not a computer person, you know e-mails are a big deal for me," said Rhonda Murphy, owner of Rhonda's Fitness.

SCORE is working online to help owners get resources or take advantage of the free mentorship program, which is in English and Spanish.

"If there's not someone local here, we can match that client to a specific industry. We have over 10,000 volunteers across the country" said Peter Fong, Central Valley SCORE district director.

Volunteers sign a code of ethics so information is not compromised.
Webinars and workshops are going on to help people slowly reopen and to re-evaluate their business practices.

"Sometimes it's not financial, it's a matter of restructuring the business and the way they deliver and more importantly, how they promote their business," Fong said.

As for Rhonda, she's been in business since 1987 and says she's learning new skills and ways to apply for help.

"Having someone from SCORE walk me through this was life-changing, it was really was," Murphy said.

In the Fresno area here, There were more than 370,000 business applications last year. Many small business owners like Murphy are trying to keep their dreams and livelihood alive.

SCORE officials encourage owners to keep working on their businesses. They're accepting mentors and mentees right now.

You can reach SCORE at the links below

Phone: 888-215-3465

Request a Mentor: www.score.org

Update COVID-19 - SCORE, SBA, CDC

https://www.score.org/coronavirus
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