The City of Winston-Salem is holding its Small Business Plan Competition again in 2018 and will kick it off with an information meeting Feb. 20 for entrepreneurs interested in participating. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the Committee Room of the City Hall Building, 101 N. Main St., Winston-Salem.

The Office of Business Inclusion and Advancement is sponsoring the competition to promote job creation and small businesses by helping entrepreneurs develop sound business plans. The two winners will each receive a $5,000 grant for start-up costs, up to $5,000 in a potential matching micro-loan, and technical assistance.

Eligible submissions must be for micro-businesses (five employees or less) located within the Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area. This area includes downtown and portions of the northern, southern and eastern quadrants of the city. The businesses must also create low- to moderate-income jobs or benefit low- to moderate-income residents. Staff from the department’s Business Development Division will be available to provide assistance throughout the competition.

Following the information session on Feb. 20, two-page executive summaries and business descriptions must be submitted by Mar. 16. All submittals will be reviewed and the top finalists will have the opportunity to submit completed business plans in May. The finalists will be judged by the Small Business Loan Committee and the winner announced in July.

During last year’s competition, two winners were selected out of 12 finalists. Proposals by Gloria Hairston for an employment staffing company and Juvonne Johnson for an inflatables business were selected as the winners by the city’s Small Business Loan Committee. Everyone who submitted a business plan was eligible to receive guidance on how to improve their business plan and was eligible to apply for a small business loan.

More information is available at, or call Steven Harrison at 336-747-7474.

Small Business Plan Contest Page