THE BUSINESS ASSISTANCE TEAM IN 2017
We are excited to share with you an overview of the Business Assistance Team (BAT)! As a member of the Warrenton Regional Chamber, the BAT is available to you. So, what exactly is the BAT, and how can it help you succeed?
As part of our restructuring from the GWCC into the new Warrenton Regional Chamber, the Business Assistance Team (BAT) is becoming part of our new WRC Mentoring Program. We’ll be able to update you on the details of this by the summer of 2017. For the time being, if you are in need of BAT services, please contact our Executive Director, Sheba Shough, and she’ll be able to direct you on the best path for the time being!
BUSINESS ASSISTANCE TEAM (BAT): The Full Story 2013 – 2016
THE BUSINESS ASSISTANCE TEAM MISSION
The BAT exists to support and educate businesses towards sustained profitability and success by providing free professional guidance, expertise, direction and resources to WRC member start-up and existing businesses in need of assistance.
THE BUSINESS ASSISTANCE TEAM HISTORY
From the very beginning of the GWCC, the BAT has been at the heart of our core mission and values. The GWCC was established in the fall of 2009, during one of the worst economic downturns our country has seen. Founding members and leaders in Fauquier’s business community quickly saw friends and colleagues closing their businesses…with no place to turn for assistance.
As conditions worsened, this small group of business owners started the GWCC and what was then called the Triage Team, now known as our Business Assistance Team. Through the formation of the GWCC, business owners could join a chamber of commerce at an affordable rate and gain access to the Triage Team at no additional cost. The Triage Team’s original focus was to provide advice and business rescue to members in need.
The Triage Team has since evolved and now the BAT works to provide support and general business assistance before the company is in crisis, using the same core values of the program. As of September 2013, over 25 members have gone through the BAT process with over 500 volunteer hours spent in assisting those clients. Over 95% of those BAT clients remain in business today and the ones that decided to close did so with the full support of the professionals of the BAT.
To help with these unique business support efforts, the Fauquier Industrial Development Authority (IDA) granted the GWCC’s with a very generous financial donation in December of 2012. These funds are used to advance and expand the BAT for the direct benefit of GWCC members. Up until this time, all BAT volunteers were providing assistance on an all-volunteer basis, but can now receive partial compensation for their time assisting fellow business owners and operators.
This program continues now as part of the Warrenton Regional Chamber.
DIRECT BUSINESS ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE TO YOU
- A confidential, independent assessment of the needs of a business seeking assistance.
- An objective diagnostic process for determining the most probable “root cause” of business challenges (existing or new businesses.)
- A collection of resources, which can be made available to businesses with specific needs.
- A road map to help guide a business toward start-up/stability/survivability/growth.
THE BUSINESS ASSISTANCE PROCESS
- A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) between WRC Consultants and BAT clients to protect confidential information.
- An engagement agreement between WRC and the BAT client.
- An intake process with diagnostic routine.
- A prescribed course of action for BAT client consideration.
- An introduction to BAT consultant(s).
- Follow-up and effectiveness survey.
THE BUSINESS ASSISTANCE EVOLUTION
In addition to the original mission of the BAT, the BAT continues to evolve to offer greater business support. Additional business support includes regular educational seminars that provide not only an educational component, but also the ability to network with like-minded business owners. The BAT is in the process of creating additional educational opportunities for our members…we are also open to any suggestions that our members have. It is our members that drive our mission and support and keep the heart of the business community going!
CONTACT THE BUSINESS ASSISTANCE TEAM
If you are interested in taking advantage of assistance available, please contact our Executive Director to receive more information:
Phone: (540) 216-3854
Thanks to our BAT Committee members, Dennis Taylor, Bert van Gils, Mark Child, John Stewart, Pablo Teodoro, Sunny Reynolds, Cindy Legg, Kim Jenkins, and all of our volunteer consultants, who have provided many hours of support!
The Greater Warrenton Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to providing it’s members with a physical resource library at the GWCC office, as well as a virtual resource library on the website! More helpful resource links and business tips to come, stay tuned!
- Virginia Department of Business Assistance
- Virginia Economic Development Partnership
- Virginia State Corporation Commission
- Virginia Department of Minority Business Enterprise
- Virginia SWaM (Small, Woman and Minority Owned) Vendor Page
- Virginia Small Business Development Center
- Fauquier County Government – Economic Development
- Town of Warrenton – Planning and Community Development
JOIN THE BAT
The BAT cannot succeed without volunteers and community support. We are always in need of individuals interested helping other member businesses succeed!
Please contact Dennis Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org ) to become a Business Assistance Team volunteer.