CCP offering free class to local businesses

Starting in September, small business owners and those interested in becoming one will have a variety of free resources at their disposal.

Robin Haines has served as an owner of Haines Truck Repair for approximately 40 years. Still, that doesn’t mean there isn’t more to learn.

Haines is participating in the Community College of Philadelphia’s Power Up Your Business program. The program, aimed at smaller local businesses, is intended to give useful information and foster networks with local business owners.

Haines is perhaps more experienced than most people in the class. However, he said he is able to share his experience with others, while learning new tricks himself.

Starting September, the program will come to CCP’s Northeast location, at 12901 Townsend Road.

The free program is split into two types of classes: the storeowner series and the peer-based learning experience.

The storeowner workshop series starts Sept. 12 and happens every other Tuesday for four sessions. Sessions will focus on marketing, capital and credit, bookkeeping and resources. In the past, the Free Library, the commerce department and more have shared resources at these workshops.

Workshops are limited to 25 participants per session. Anyone interested can RVSP online at CCP’s website.

The peer-based learning experience is for businesses located in Philadelphia that earn less than $1 million a year in revenue and have at least one full-time employee.

The class is designed around the business owners sharing their expertise and learning from each other, as well as learning from a guest speaker each class.

The program starts Jan. 10, and runs every Wednesday night for 10 weeks.

“When businesses are doing training and are close by together, there’s a synergy where they’re able to continue networking after the classes are done,” said Pearl Wang-Herrera, director of the program.

The program also provides a financial coach and a general business coach to help participants develop a tactical improvement plan.

The program is free. Those interested must apply on the school’s website.

“The program gives a chance for storeowners to look at their own business, which sets them up to grow their business,” Wang-Herrera said.

Wang-Herrera said by splitting it up to the college’s four locations, they are hoping to provide more convenient access to a wide range of businesses.

The program is pretty young, having started this past January. It’s cycled through all of CCP’s locations before finally arriving in the Northeast.

In the first seven months of the program, 26 businesses have graduated the program’s peer learning courses, and approximately 100 have attended the storeowner workshops.

Seventy-three percent of graduates have been women, and 89 percent have been minorities.

The program is expected to start the cycle over next year. ••

Logan Krum can be reached at lkrum@newspapermediagroup.com