In partnership with ALSTNTEC, Community Partners and HOC coordinate several cohorts of a 10-week Small Business Strategy Course to help low- and moderate income adults create and/or expand their small businesses. The course, offered virtually, instructs participants on:

  • Developing an actionable business strategy;
  • Choosing a business structure and understanding tax obligations;
  • Registering / certifying a business;
  • Creating business, marketing and sales strategy plans;
  • Creating and effectively using a brand;
  • Targeting markets;
  • Identifying resources to keep a business operational during the first year and beyond.

Also, this course trains individuals on how to apply for Small Business Administration (SBA) Certification and a Maryland Department of Transportation Minority Business Enterprise/Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (MDOT MBE/DBE) certification. After course completion, the participants receive three months of mentoring to help them complete business plans and applicable legal requirements.

As part of its included mentoring services, ALSTNTEC also guides participants through a step by step process of business legalization. ALSTNTEC is able to file documents on behalf of customers and follow up within the first year of business to remind past participants of renewal certifications and tax filing deadlines. In addition, ALSTNTEC offers graduates of the SBSC free membership to the online network that provides SBSC training materials and webinars for continued growth in business. Lastly, ALSTNTEC offers business consulting, branding services, business strategy courses, DBE certifications, and extended mentorship opportunities with over 20 years of Information Technology experience and relationships with several industry experts.

This small business development program has been implemented successfully by HOC for the past two years, helping more than 50 HOC customers to create small businesses.