Published April 15, 2021
CHARLOTTE – SCORE Charlotte was presented the North Carolina District Chapter of the Year 2020 Award in recognition of its leadership and commitment to serving small businesses.
The volunteer organization consists of active or retired business executives and owners who provide free mentoring to clients in 16 counties within the Carolinas, including Mecklenburg and Union.
SCORE Charlotte sponsors free and low-cost workshops, such as Simple Steps for Starting Your Business, throughout the year plus numerous problem-solving seminars on how to start a business or deal with business growth.
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The Charlotte SCORE Chapter has been a forerunner in adopting new systems, programs, or processes, according to Danny Fischer, the chapter president co-chair.
“When COVID hit, we immediately developed new teams, strategies, and processes given the onslaught of client requests,” Fischer said. “One example was quickly realizing that we needed one intake person to handle just our voice mails. Those ramped up from several a week to over 100 in the first month. Of these, 93% were COVID-related.”
The chapter also led participants in a district-wide Zoom implementation program, enabling client mentoring via video as well as modified workshop presentations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am most proud of how our team stepped up and really pulled together to handle all our client requests and workshop transitions to Zoom so we could increase our outreach during this critical time,” President Co-Chair H.R. “Helen,” Harwell said.
Despite COVID-19, the chapter handled 2,088 potential client requests, an increase of 40% over 2019.
The chapter’s public outreach program played a significant role in the selection of Charlotte as NC District Chapter of the Year 2020, according to Juliette Weiland, immediate past president for 2019-20.
“We work hard to be an active strategic partner with over 40 SCORE ambassadors highly engaged in a diversity of community events,” Weiland said. “As a result, we are continually increasing awareness of our services and opportunities to volunteer.”
The chapter’s goal was to grow the inclusion and diversity to meet the needs of the community. For 2020, the number of certified SCORE mentors increased by 30% for minorities and 15% for women.
Weiland, Fischer, and Harwell all believe mentors throughout the years helped build the foundation that led to making 2020 a successful year and an award-winning chapter.