A small-business counseling center to help entrepreneurs in Chesterfield and Marlboro counties launch and sustain their ventures has set up shop at Northeastern Technical College’s Cheraw campus.
The regional S.C. Small Business Development Center office was opened with support from the state Department of Commerce and is staffed by business consultant John Mahon, a farmer and former manufacturing executive.
“Small business is important to South Carolina’s overall economy, particularly in rural areas,” Chuck Bundy, deputy director for small business and existing industry at the Department of Commerce, said in a statement. “The South Carolina Small Business Development Center is a flexible network that is able to touch the more remote parts of our state in a meaningful way.”
Mahon has worked as director of quality, vice president of sales, human resources director and vice president for a multi-plant South Carolina precision manufacturing corporation and now runs an organic farm. He also has helped incorporate and has prepared taxes for several tax-exempt organizations.
The small business centers are being opened in rural areas of the state where the business population is underserved, according to the Department of Commerce. Each center will support the needs of existing businesses as well as assisting entrepreneurs considering opening a new venture.
Cheraw’s SBDC follows the opening of offices in Allendale and Union. The next small business development center is planned for Georgetown.
“It is important that we serve all our constituents,” SBDC State Director Michelle Abraham said. “The businesses in rural parts of our state are just as important to us as the ones located in more urban areas.”
Each of the new centers are open on a part-time basis for now, but officials said hours could be expanded if local support and the demand for business consulting services is strong enough.
Current business owners and those planning new businesses are encouraged to make an appointment. The center is located on Northeastern Tech’s campus at 1201 Chesterfield Highway in Cheraw.
Contact Mahon at 843-910-7352 or email CherawSBDC@gmail.com.