HCC to Offer “Fueling Your Business” Seminar on

Capital and Credit Access for Small Businesses Owners

The Small Business Center of Haywood Community College and the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center will offer a free “Fueling Your Business” seminar Thursday, May 8, from 6-8 pm, on campus in the Student Center, first floor.

The “Fueling Your Business” seminar is designed to help small business owners and prospective entrepreneurs understand how to access credit and capital for their businesses. During the seminar attendees will learn the six basic principles many lenders use to make credit decisions and resources available in North Carolina for small businesses. Lastly, the seminar will cover the Rural Center's Microenterprise Loan Program.

The North Carolina Rural Center’s Microenterprise Loan program works with individuals who have sound ideas for starting and expanding a small business but may not quality for bank credit. The program offers loans ranging from $500 to $25,000 and provides assistance through local Small Business Centers to help clients develop strong applications and successful businesses.

Two micro-loans are offered and can be applied for and partially processed by HCC’s Small Business Center:

  • Standard Microenterprise Loan - Loans up to $25,000
  • Express Loan - Loans $5000 and Less

For more information or to preregister for this free program, contact the Small Business Center

By phone 627 4606 or visit



Why Local? Agripreneurship Seminar

The Small Business Center at Haywood Community College will offer a free seminar titled “Why Local?” Tuesday, April 1, from 6-9 pm, on campus in the Student Center. From budding enthusiasts to seasoned agripreneurs—this interactive seminar is designed to provide education and support to entrepreneurs interested in farming or agriculture related business.

Attendees are encouraged to bring your ideas, successes and challenges for a solution-focused round table segment.  Whether you are starting from scratch or currently operating a business, we will discuss the latest agriculture-related data and explore strategies to transform your individual operation into a thriving venture!  Take home resources will be provided.

Topics will include:

  • Why Local?  Understanding consumer demand in the current locavore movement.
  • Developing or expanding your market identity.
  • Building a strong consumer base.
  • Marketing strategies and social media.
  • Increasing sales through diverse market partnerships.
  • Agritourism
  • Buy Haywood as an industry partner.

Tina Masciarelli, Buy Haywood Project Coordinator will be the presenter. Call the Small Business Center at 627 4512 or email to preregister or for more information.

HCC’s Small Business Center to offer program on Growing Hops

The Small Business Center of Haywood Community College will offer a free program on “The Business of Growing Hops” on Tuesday, March 18, from 6-8 pm, on campus in the Student Center.

“Spurred on by the demands of a burgeoning craft brewing industry and a strong public interest in locally grown ingredients, farmers are experimenting with hops (Humulus lupulus) as an alternative income source. Over the past three years, a small community of growers across North Carolina have established hop yards and sold their product to local craft breweries and home brewers.” - North Carolina Hops Project, NC State University, Hops Research and Variety Trial.

This seminar will provide an overview of hops growing business and provide an excellent networking opportunity for local hops growers. Attendees will explore the seasonal processes of hop cultivation, the art of working with breweries, importance of lab testing and marketing strategies for the developing hops industry. Current and potential hops growers will discuss tools and information to optimize efforts and harvest.

Heidi Dunkelberg of H&K Hop Yard will be the presenter.  Dunkelberg has been growing hops in the Beaverdam community of Canton for six years.  She currently grows seven different varieties of hops and has developed a unique way of trellis hop growing and has recently incorporated a custom hop drying process that she is eager to share.

Heidi has partnered with local breweries to promote the prominent use of locally grown hops in small batch production. Most notably the recent release from Frog Level Brewing, an American Pale Ale made solely from hops grown in Haywood County. Dunkelberg’s passion in hop growing and value added partnerships is infectious and she is excited to help others get started in the business of growing hops.

To preregister for this seminar or for more information, call the Small Business Center at 627 4512.

HCC to Offer Seminar on Legal Structure for Business

The Small Business Center of Haywood Community College will offer a free seminar entitled, “Choosing the Legal Form of Your Business” on Tuesday, October 15, from 6-8 p.m., at HCC’s Student Center building, first floor auditorium.

Before you enter the complex arena of business and the myriad of laws which influence your freedom of choice and mobility of action, you should first choose the legal structure for your business that will best suit your needs and the needs of your particular business.  In selecting the legal structure for your business, you must ask yourself, “What are my alternatives?”  This program will provide direction for start-ups as well as established business owners who are reviewing their business structure due to tax laws or availability of capital. Advantages and disadvantages of sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, chapter S corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) will be discussed.

Attorney Jeffery Norris of Waynesville will be the presenter. To preregister for this free seminar, call the Small Business Center at 627-4512.

How to Price Your Product or Service

The Small Business Center at Haywood Community College will offer a free seminar on “How to Price Your Product or Service”, Tuesday, October 8, from 6-9 pm, on campus in the Student Center. Setting the correct price point to make a profit and compete in your market is often difficult for the novice and seasoned business owner. This workshop will examine pricing methods and help the owner learn how to develop sales forecasts and measure market potential.

Participants will:

  • identify strategies used to price products and services
  • evaluate different pricing methods for sample businesses
  • identify connections between pricing and sales forecasting
  • identify financial concepts (overhead costs, cost of goods sold, profit contributed per sale, and breakeven point)
  • identify factors involved in developing good financial assumptions
  • learn how to calculate the break-even point for a sample business

Dean Kanipe, business consultant from Marion, NC, will be the presenter. Call the Small Business Center at 627 4512 to preregister or for more information.

Business Planning for Business Success

The Small Business Center at Haywood Community College will offer a free seminar entitled, “Business Planning for Business Success” on Tuesday, October 1, from 6-9 pm on campus in the Student Center, first floor.

The old saying is true:  "Failure to plan is planning to fail."  While you can never perfectly foretell the future, you can lay out a reasonable plan for how your business will start, operate, attract customers, deal with competitors, and MAKE MONEY.  Learn a simple technique for writing an effective business plan.  Discover what really needs to be there, what detracts from your message, how to say what's important, and how to use your plan to communicate your business idea to lenders, investors, customers, vendors, and others.  Also learn the most effective method for improving your business plan.

Russ Seagle of Seagle Management Consulting is the presenter. For more information or to preregister for this free program, call the Small Business Center at 627-4512.

HCC to Offer Seminar on Marketing for the Craftsperson & Artist

The Small Business Center of Haywood Community College will offer a free seminar entitled “Marketing for the Craftsperson & Artist Part I”, on Thursday afternoon, September 26.  This popular program will be held from 2:00 to 5:00 PM in the HCC Creative Arts building, Room #7105 and will aid the craftsperson or artist in developing a marketing plan aimed at increasing sales and profit.  This hands-on seminar will also emphasize excellence in product as well as efficient ways to broaden public awareness through effective advertising.  The workshop will focus on:

  • How to begin letting the world know about you and your craft
  • How to keep track of those important “no fun” expenses to insure your profitability
  • Pricing to insure survival and what to do if your product isn’t selling
  • How to approach independent shops and galleries

On Friday morning, September 27, from 9 am until noon, “Marketing for the Craftsperson, Part II” is offered at the same location. This fast-paced, information-packed, humorous three hours details how to best market your business image…on a low or no-budget plan. Learn how to establish a marketing plan that is designed to increase your bottom line. Discover if you need a logo and find out where to get one. Identify ten “no cost” ways to effectively advertise. Analyze why customer service is your most important marketing tool. As a unique feature of the program, attendees are encouraged to bring samples of their product to the seminar. The workshop will focus on:

  • Selling through craft fairs; includes how to find out about available shows and all those little things about shows you may not know
  • Selling through trade shows
  • Designing your booth at shows and why presentation is so important
  • Successful marketing tips, including press releases, business cards and gift tags
  • Designing your own logo, business card, flyer or brochure.
  • Exploring the very essence of exactly what your marketing story needs to say.

The presenter for this topic is Linda Rozelle of Greensboro, NC. Rozelle has a diverse background in commercial art, has designed hundreds of corporate identity programs nationwide and has been nationally recognized for excellence in advertising. For several years, audiences have found Roselle’s creativity and humor a captivating vehicle as she delivers a strong message for the small business owner and entrepreneur.  A specialist in cartooning, these free seminars are as entertaining as they are informative. Seating is limited. Call the the Small Business Center at 627-4512 to reserve a seat.

HCC Offers Program on Hands-On Booth Display at the Farmers Market 

The Small Business Center at Haywood Community College will offer a free seminar on “Attracting More Customers at the Farmer’s Market: Hands-on Booth Display Workshop” on Tuesday, September 24, 6-8 pm, in the Creative Arts Building, Room # 7105.

Please bring your booth display ideas, challenges and together we’ll find solutions…tables provided but bring your props if you can. (Some props will be provided.)

  • Participate in hands-on visual displays and take home useful tips
  • Discover efficient ways of setting up and taking down
  • Explore the essentials of attracting and engaging customers at your booth
  • Entice customers to buy from you and close the sale

Charles Hudson, Product Development Chef at Sunburst Trout Company will be the presenter. Call the Small Business Center for more information or to preregister for this free seminar.

HCC’s Small Business Center offers 3 free eBay Workshops

The Small Business Center of Haywood Community College will offer a free beginner’s workshop on Wednesday, September 18, from 6-9 p.m., a free advanced workshop on Thursday, September 19, from 1-4:30 p.m. and a free eBay store workshop on Thursday, September 19, from 6-9:00 p.m. All will be held at the Regional High Technology Center in the Waynesville Industrial Park. In today's difficult economic circumstances small business owners and the unemployed are looking for something different to do to simulate their sales or to just find a way to earn extra money. With no startup cost eBay is the perfect solution. Join the millions who have learned to generate revenue from this huge cyberstore. The eBay Marketplace creates a powerful online platform for the sale of goods and services by a passionate community of individuals and small businesses. On any given day, there are millions of items available through auction-style and fixed-price trading.  EBay is an efficient marketplace that can provide you with an additional sales channel and expand your potential customer base from your own neighborhood to millions of customers around the world.

During the fast-paced session, “eBay Your Way to Success:  Selling Items on eBay” you will learn best practices to use when setting up an account, listing items for sale, taking payments, and shipping. Topics will include eBay features and policies, registering an account, choosing formats and categories, writing descriptions that sell, taking and submitting photos, feedback, using PayPal, and shipping tips.

Beyond the Basics of Selling on eBay: Techniques for the Serious Seller” session is for individuals having knowledge/experience of selling on eBay who want to establish a continual retail presence on eBay.  Topics in this fast-paced session will include: starting an eBay business, finding merchandise to sell, creating professional listings, marketing your business on eBay, managing active listings, resolving issues & feedback, and

protecting your eBay business. Learn those "tricks of the trade" that you have to know to become an eBay Power Seller!

“Setting up your eBAy Store” is a session is for individuals having knowledge/experience of selling on eBay who want to establish a continual retail presence on eBay and become an eBay store owner. You will learn how to optimize your eBay store, how to market your eBay store more effectively, and how to list items in your eBay store.

The presenter is Nick Hawks who is an Education Specialist trained by eBay. He has over 20 years’ experience of buying and selling antiques and collectibles, with over 13 years selling on eBay. For more information or to pre-register for one, two or all of these free seminars, call the Small Business Center at 627-4512.

HCC hosts program for Business Owners

The Small Business Center at Haywood Community College will host a free business seminar to help business owners navigate regulations of the North Carolina Department of Revenue, North Carolina Industrial Commission, and North Carolina Department of Commerce Division of Employment Security.

The Business Essentials workshop will be held on Wednesday, September 04, 2013, from 10:00 AM to noon in the Student Center Auditorium, on HCC’s campus. Attendees should register online at

Representatives from The North Carolina Department of Revenue, North Carolina Industrial Commission, and North Carolina Department of Commerce Division of Employment Security will cover basic requirements to help businesses in North Carolina understand the laws and obligations necessary to be compliant. Topics covered:

  • The basics of tax compliance from registering your business, withholding from employees, and sales and use tax requirements.
  • Workers' Compensation laws and the types of businesses required to carry workers’ compensation insurance and how to obtain it.
  • Unemployment insurance laws, employment taxes, and the appeals process

For more information call the Small Business Center at 627-4512.

HCC to offer seminar on How to Start a Business

The Small Business Center of Haywood Community College will offer a free seminar entitled, “Business Start-up Issues A-Z” on Tuesday, September 3, from 6-9 p.m. on the HCC campus in the Student Center building, first floor. No one starts a business to have the life drained out of them, but it happens way too often. Your first year in business is make-or-break time.  It can be a time of excitement, confusion and turmoil. Starting off on the right foot can create the foundation for a lasting, profitable business.  This is a "soup-to-nuts" seminar that covers all the important issues you need to consider when starting your business:

  • Choosing a business name and a location
  • Licenses, permits, franchises, and purchasing an existing business
  • Types of risk businesses face and insurance issues, various tax issues
  • Challenges of managing a business, family-owned business issues, and common mistakes new business owners make, and more…

Russ Seagle of Seagle Management Consulting is the presenter. For more information or to preregister for this free program, call the Small Business Center at 627-4512.

HCC Small Business Center puts a Focus on Maggie Valley Businesses

August 2013

James Carver, Maggie Valley Restaurant

While restaurants come and go, Maggie Valley Restaurant continues to be a staple. The Carver Family has owned the business at 2804 Soco Road for over 60 years, since 1952!      

The Small Business Center at Haywood Community College has a photographic exhibit of several Maggie Valley business owners and it’s now on display in the college library, the Freedlander Learning Resource Center.

Fourteen Maggie Valley businesses are featured to draw attention to the importance of small business in our local economy and give a “face” to Maggie Valley business owners.

The display is captioned “Growing our Economy: One Job at a Time”. Stop by on campus to view these photos and remember to shop and dine in the Maggie Valley business district.

HCC’s Small Business Center Offers Array of Services

Mar 28, 2012

Photo by: Debra Davis

HCC’s Small Business Center is directed by Sharron Donnahoe. She is instrumental in helping people in the community learn how to start their own business, secure funds to start their business, and explore the possibilities of entrepreneurship.

Haywood Community College’s Small Business Center may be one of the county’s best kept secrets. The Center offers many services to the public free of charge. Some of these services include: confidential counseling, seminars and access to resource libraries. Located in HCC’s Library, the center houses a large in-house resource library of print and audio materials and on-line Small Business Resource Library. The Small Business Center provides budding entrepreneurs with the knowledge and resources needed to make informed decisions concerning their business ventures.

HCC’s Small Business Center is part of the Small Business Center Network, which is comprised of 58 Small Business Centers throughout North Carolina. The network supports the development of new businesses and the growth of existing businesses by being a community-based provider of training, counseling, and resource information.

While many people may not be aware of HCC’s Small Business Center, those do who know about it take advantage of the great offerings. During 2010-2011, the center held 34 seminars and served 565 people. And there’s a topic for everyone from the basics of How to Start a Business and How to Write a Business Plan to Marketing, Recordkeeping and Taxes, and Financing Your Business; to unique seminars such as: Selling on eBay, Starting a Business with QuickBooks, Marketing for the Craftsperson, and First Time Landlord. Even though the workshops are free, they are also high quality with presenters who are dynamic speakers possessing business expertise in their respective topic area.

Nancy Rathbone, who opened Sign World WNC in Canton with her husband, says she attended every seminar she could that was offered by the Center. “And I still do,” she explains. “The Center offers the whole gamut of services. And it’s not just for people starting business but people already in business. You’ve got to hone your skills and that is what the Small Business Center is all about. If people are not utilizing what is in our own backdoor, they are at a loss. These workshops are great to send your employees to. It’s a way to grow your business and such a good networking opportunity.”

HCC’s Small Business Center is directed by Sharron Donnahoe. She is instrumental in helping people in the community learn how to start their own business, secure funds to start their business, and explore the possibilities of entrepreneurship. Recently, she was named Downtown Waynesville’s Main Street Champion for 2011. She has been actively involved in Downtown Waynesville for more than 20 years, serves on many boards, is a downtown ambassador, and frequently volunteers at special events. She has been director of HCC’s Small Business Center for 18 years.

When George Rios and Adrian Ferdnandez opened their restaurant, Los Amigos, in Waynesville six years ago, Donnahoe worked with them one-on-one over a three-month period. “She helped us stay focused on what we wanted to accomplish. We met with Sharron several times as we revised our business plan,” said Ferdnandez. “Finally, with Sharron’s help we had a business plan that would work for us,” they said.

For the second year in a row, Donnahoe has worked with HCC curriculum students to secure wins of the Sequoyah Fund Community College Business Plan Competition. The Sequoyah Fund encourages and rewards students financially who aspire to start businesses in the seven westernmost counties of North Carolina (Haywood, Jackson, Swain, Macon, Clay, Cherokee, Graham) and the Qualla Boundary. A $10,000 award is given for the winning business plan. For the first year of the competition, Donnahoe coached HCC Professional Crafts Wood student David Nestler, to a first place finish with his business, Tree of Life Woodworks, LLC. For 2010-2011, HCC Welding student Dustin Cornelison won for his business, Sustainabillies.

Nestler says he is now doing something he loves every day. “I owe every bit of success with my business to HCC’s Small Business Center and to Sharron. She was a great help to me and is an excellent asset to HCC. Money from the Sequoyah Fund Competition helped me start my business without having to take out a loan. When I finished school, it was not the best business climate to start out on my own. Winning the competition gave me a certain level of comfort. I would not have opened a business as soon without winning.”

Donnahoe was also part of the county’s Certified Entrepreneurial Community team, playing a part in making Haywood County the nation’s first certified entrepreneurial community. A Certified Entrepreneurial Community (CEC<font>®</font>) is an economic development strategy—a program that helps communities become entrepreneur ready. That means the overall business climate, policies, regulations, and opportunities to learn and grow are simple to find and available. It also means there's a positive, enthusiastic attitude that permeates the culture.

According to Jessica DeMarco, chef/owner of Copper Pot and Wooden Spoon, “The great support in this county gives you the confidence to move ahead with your dreams.” Copper Pot and Wooden Spoon is a local business making high quality artisan foods such as jams and pickles.

Another service offered by the Center is matching small business owners with government business opportunities. The SBC is periodically alerted of government job opportunities for local businesses through the North Carolina Military Business Center (NCMBC). NCMBC is a collaborative effort between North Carolina business and industry and the North Carolina Community College System.

"It's an asset for the Small Business Center to know about these federal contracting opportunities," said Sharron Donnahoe, Director of the SBC at HCC. "We can be a connector and do the best we can to let these businesses know about these opportunities."

Donnahoe helped HCC Forest Management graduate Frank Varvoutis gain a contract to work for the Great Smoky Mountains national Park. "Winning this contract is great exposure and income for a small business owner," Varvoutis explains.

HCC’s Small Business Center recently formed a partnership with the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center to make loans of up to $25,000 available for the startup or expansion of rural businesses. The center’s N.C. Microenterprise Loan Program encourages self-employment and small business development by combining loans with business planning and technical assistance. It often works with individuals who have sound business ideas but may not qualify for traditional bank loans. HCC’s Small Business Center will assist prospective borrowers in completing loan applications and provide other technical assistance.

Visit HCC’s Small Business Center online at for more information on resources that are available and for upcoming seminars. To speak with Donnahoe about how the Small Business Center can help you, please call 627-4512.

Business Advising Available at Haywood Chamber of Commerce

The Small Business Center will offer free business consulting services at the Haywood Chamber of Commerce in Waynesville. Business advising is available to start-ups or established businesses and offered monthly by appointment. Call the Small Business Center at 627-4512 to schedule an appointment at this convenient location.