June 19, 2024
Floyd C4 unites local entrepreneurs with funding, resources, community

By Abby Whitt | Editor

Floyd County Economic Development on Monday launched its eighth year of the Floyd C4 Business Development Series. More than two dozen participants have signed up.

An entrepreneurial opportunity that is funded by the county government and Virginia Community Capital, the series centers around creators, coaches, curriculum and challenge, and stimulating the local economy with resident-owned businesses.

Brian (and Christy) Corbett won the $5,000 grand prize last year to develop Crooked Mountain, a veteran-owned campground, motorcycle destination, farm and farm store at 1378 Shooting Creek Road.

In 2021, Madeline and Jody Akers came in first with Firehouse Farms, a meat processing facility on their property in Willis.

During the six-week 2023 series, 28 local entrepreneurs are working with executives to discover and access resources to help them set up their new business, including mentors, who will be pitching a pitch day on November 6. Taking you till.

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All sessions are being held at the Floyd Innovation Center located at 158 ​​Pioneer Way in Floyd.

The first session, on Monday, September 18, focused on introducing the four C’s and planning for business success in the Business Playbook.

Two sessions in October revolve around the importance of marketing, followed by Mentors for a Night on 16 October.

Tabitha Hodge, Floyd County’s assistant director of community and economic development, said some of this year’s mentors will be Anne and Aaron of Anne Vaughn Design, John Beagle of Bootleg BBQ and Beagle Landscaping and Corbett of Crooked Mountain.

Both Hodge and Community and Economic Development Director Lydiana Martin are heavily involved in the series, and go above and beyond to support local businesses, even after “graduating” from the C4 series.

Feedback about the development series is also overwhelmingly positive, despite the limited number of participants who can get a place on pitch day.

“The C4 program really wants to help people who want to become entrepreneurs,” Corbett said. “They did an amazing job putting together the local resources, advisors and information needed to start a business in Florida.”

Madeline Akers said she doesn’t think Firehouse Farms would be where it is without the C4 series.

“The Floyd C4 program taught me all the basics of starting my own business, not only the classes but the people they connected us with were very helpful,” she said.

Cat Whittenbarger of Whittenbarger Farms and newly announced Mountain Springs Media, who placed third in the 2022 edition of Floyd C4, said the sense of community that comes with C4 was incredibly helpful.

“The best part of the C4 program was hearing from other people who were just starting out and realizing that we all felt the same fear and excitement about moving forward,” said Whittenbarger.

At Pitch Day, a panel of judges from the Floyd Economic Development Authority, Virginia Community Capital, New River Regional Commission and other small business groups will select the 2023 winners.

Stay tuned as the series progresses and learn more about Floyd EDA efforts and programs online www.facebook.com/yesfloydva.

Source: swvatoday.com

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