Shelley Smith

Shelley Smith

Last month, Motlow State announced the MotlowTrained Relief Fund to provide free training to help community members experiencing any loss of income due to COVID-19 by giving them the opportunity to upskill for advancement or to re-enter the workforce.

In the same month, Motlow joined a five-county collaborative effort including chambers of commerce, downtown groups, economic development agencies, and industrial boards to collect and communicate helpful information for local businesses in a centralized location on the group’s website. The group has continually updated surveys for distribution to local businesses and collected information on the economic effects of the pandemic. Businesses are encouraged to fill out the survey with updated information as often as they can. The results can be used to inform policy, as well as to identify what the greatest needs are. So far, the results of the survey indicate some of the greatest needs is help establishing a website, online sales, and social media marketing.

The small businesses talked; and Motlow listened. This week, the institution announced an expansion to their relief initiative to include a program that focuses directly on assisting the small business community by providing free training for online sales and social media marketing. Small businesses in the Tri-Lakes area are now eligible to sign up for the MotlowTrained Small Business Accelerator program which is free of charge through the MotlowTrained Relief Fund.

e-Commerce Accelerator Program: Do you have an existing website but not a way for customers to buy? Add a Buy Button and set up your first five items that you are ready to sell, add more items, and learn to easily make future edits to your site.

Online Presence Accelerator Program: Don’t have a website but need one quick? Set up a one-page site together with 5 items you are ready to sell, including training so you can self-manage going forward.

Social Media Marketing Accelerator Program: Now is not the time to leave your followers on social media in the dark, so get even more connected with them. Share how you are adjusting your business to serve them safely and how they can support you. Work together with MotlowTrained on how to do that, whether it’s a feel-good campaign or a “business as usual” approach during this time.

No matter what your individual business needs are, you will receive the benefit of brainstorming via live webinar with an organization that understands the context of the community you are operating in to keep your strategy relevant and positive as we all find new norms.

Ingenuity, dependability, tenacious resolve and optimism are coded into our DNA. So, roll up your sleeves, and let’s get through this together. If you are a small business and would like to apply to the MotlowTrained Small Business Accelerator program to grow your business online, or if you would like to make a donation to the MotlowTrained Relief Fund visit www.thecommunitycollab.com, or email workforce@mscc.edu. May we all be well and help each other.

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