People around Calhoun County are looking for work. Now, private investors and banks could help them and create jobs at the same time. They've committed one million dollars to help aspiring entrepreneurs start their business ventures.
A banker for more than 40 years.. John Wheeler came up with an idea generated from the ABC show Shark Tank.. to help create jobs in Calhoun County. "There's a real long background of Entrepreneurs in this town and we were losing our way and we needed to get something to give us momentum to get that spirit back."
He and six other investors along with several banks including Noble Bank and Southern States Bank are committing one million dollars to help small business owners get started.
The Advantage Capital Enterprise System would give Entrepreneurs 100-thousand dollars or more.
Sherri Sumners, Executive Director of the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce Foundation says "One of the best ways to create jobs is to create new business. And one thing small businesses need is cash."
But it's not all about money. Wheeler says "This system we have evolved, we can have lots of counseling and advice for people."
Also involved.. The Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce's Operation 1st Rate Program which helps find jobs for people laid off from the Anniston Army depot because of sequestration. Wheeler says "Probably well over a thousand people are looking for work."
Several people have already applied for the program with ideas ranging from a solar energy project to boutiques.
Sumners says "You see venture capital clubs in larger cities but you don't see them much in areas of this size.. so I think it speaks well to those people who want to step up and commit this amount of money."
You must fill out an application to be considered. Wheeler says the JSU Business Development Center will help business owners come up with a business plan. For more information, just call the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce at 256-237-3536