RISE Program

Program participants pose with completion certificates. Credit: Central Carolina Community College (CCCC)

Sanford N.C. RISE Program

Real Investment in Sanford Entrepreneurs

The Sanford Area Growth Alliance has partnered with the Central Carolina Community College Small Business Center (SBC) and Downtown Sanford, Inc (DSI) to bring entrepreneurs and Sanford business owners a free program that provides tools and resources for successful business development.

In the Sanford N.C. RISE Program, participants learn key skills and insights to run a profitable business, from financing options and taxation to understanding legal references. At the end of the eight-week program, participants will have produced a basic small business plan to take their startup to the next level.

Eight Weeks to Business Success

The RISE Program is an eight-week, cohort-style program. Classes take place in the evenings in person at the Dennis Wicker Civic Center. The program is free to attend but pre-registration and approval is required, as class size is limited to 12 participants. Class topics include market research, financing, business taxes, bookkeeping and legal considerations. Participants will graduate with a plan ready to implement for their business.

Group of people in 2 rows holds program completion diplomas.

A Great Starting Point for Your Business

“I’m happy to sing the praises of the RISE program. It was truly a wonderful experience for me despite the physical limitations surrounding the pandemic. I was able to experience an authentic sense of belonging and community with like-minded, local business start-ups. The program encouraged me to set aside precious time each week to focus on my business goals and pushed me to do the necessary research to inform my choices going forward in this business adventure.

I especially enjoyed the segments of the class work regarding marketing and financial planning. My greatest anxiety before the RISE program was related to digital marketing. Through many group work activities and presentations, I learned how I can use different avenues of digital marketing more intentionally to achieve specific goals. Terri is an excellent facilitator who is able to provide guidance and not get in the way of your own discoveries. The most beneficial element of the program for me was the access to LivePlan which is an excellent resource.

Chelsea Fields, Eyelight Cafe & Comics

Person holds up vintage copy of X-men comic book. Credit: Pexels

Added Support for Eligible Businesses

RISE program participants who have not yet opened a brick-and-mortar location are eligible to receive a small business grant assistance package. Awardees receive up to a $5,000 reimbursable grant provided for rent and utilities (as funds are available), one annual Base Level membership to the Sanford Area Growth Alliance Chamber of Commerce, plus extensive marketing, and business support.

Participants are not guaranteed a grant. To be eligible for grant funds, participants must demonstrate 100% attendance in the RISE program and the selected business must locate within one of the following locations: Downtown Sanford 17-block district, Downtown Jonesboro, or Downtown Broadway.

Storefront windows for Back to Dirt and Seva Yoga.

Have Questions? We’re Here to Help!

Susan Gomez headshot, Sanford Chamber director

Susan Gomez