A free training program is available to help you go green with your business. The N.C. Rural Economic Development Center is offering the program to help small businesses cut energy costs, reduce employee turnover and become more competitive. The program has several components to help you boost efficiency at your business. These include:
* The opportunity to be certified as a Green Plus business by the Institute for Sustainable Development. Certified businesses receive public recognition of their achievements, often in the form of local news coverage. To learn more about getting certified, visit www.gogreenplus.org.
* One-on-one, personalized training provided by the institute.
* Access to an online tool that helps you assess where your business is today and what improvements you can make. Blogs and webinars are also available to help you take steps toward sustainability.
* Opportunities to network with other small business owners who have made their businesses more sustainable.
* The opportunity to apply for Green Micro Loans, which are offered by the Rural Center to help rural small businesses use cleaner energy and reduce waste.
To be eligible for the program, you must be a small business owner in one of the 85 rural North Carolina counties a href="http://www.ncruralcenter.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&%0Aid=75&Itemid=155" target="_blank">http://www.ncruralcenter.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=...;
id=75&Itemid=155> , as defined by the Rural Center. Your business must have been in operation for more than 18 months, and you must be able to devote at least four hours a month to thinking about your business in new ways.
The center, with funding from the Citi Foundation, is offering 25 small business owners the opportunity to go through the program for free. The training program, valued at $2,250, is available on a competitive basis
for a limited time. To apply or learn more, contact:
The N.C. Rural Economic Development Center is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop sound economic strategies that improve the quality of life in rural North Carolina, with a special
focus on individuals with low to moderate incomes and communities with limited resources.
The Institute for Sustainable Development is a nonprofit organization that helps small businesses integrate sustainable practices into their operations.