To help Westport businesses navigate the COVID-19 crisis and to plan for a post pandemic business environment, the town has teamed up with the local nonprofit Social Venture Partners (SVP) to launch the Local Business Advisor Program, it was announced today.
According to Second Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker, SVP volunteers, who include talented businessmen and women with expertise in specific areas, will be paired with local business owners, providing cost-free, individual and confidential advisory services.
Among the issues to be addressed, Tooker said, are: basic financial modeling; understanding COVID-19-related government programs and loan options; online business platforms, marketing and social media; and human resource issues.
Tooker, who is overseeing the program, stressed that advisory information shall be held in strict confidence and will not be shared with the town by SVP.
“We are eager to support Westport’s local businesses and help provide the resources they need during this extraordinarily difficult time,” said Tooker. “Our local businesses are the backbone of our community.
“They not only provide us with many essential goods and services; they are also our friends and neighbors who support our residents in countless ways every day,” she added. “We are committed to helping them survive and thrive in the weeks and months ahead.”
Marjorie Almansi of SVP said that her group’s volunteers “are very happy to share their expertise with local businesses as they navigate these unprecedented times.”
Tooker said businesses eligible to participate in the program should have a bricks-and-mortar presence in town, an employee base, and have been in business for at least one year.
For further information about SVP, visit https://www.socialventurepartners.org/connecticut/