SKOWHEGAN — Registration opened Sept. 15 for the second Main Street Skowhegan Savings Entrepreneur Challenge.
The challenge — which features business concept development and planning information, a final business pitch, and more than $23,000 in benefits and incentives for the winning entrepreneur — is open to anyone looking to start or expand a business in Skowhegan.
Entrepreneur Challenge participants will attend business seminars to learn more about the nuts and bolts of starting a business. They’ll hear from small business owners about their experiences and from business professionals about insurance needs, financing options, required permits, and more.
They’ll craft and present a business plan, ultimately vying for a benefits package of more than $23,000 to open a business in Skowhegan, organizers said in a news release.
With more than 15 different incentives, the benefits package features a $10,000 forgivable loan from partner and leading sponsor Skowhegan Savings Bank. Other incentives include consulting from Kyes-Carpenter Insurance; three months of payroll services from Total Payroll Solutions, Inc.; consulting services from H&R Block; carpentry services from Dionne & Son Builders; a one-year membership to the Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce; computer supplies and business backup software from Computer Improvements; legal consulting from Mills, Shay, Lexier & Talbot; three months of internet access and up to two phone lines from Bee Line Cable; storefront signage design and development from York Signs; photography services from Brandie Burrill Photography; a promotional video produced by Somerset Community Television; reduced rent from participating property owners; and website design, marketing consultation, and promotional services from Main Street Skowhegan.
Developed by Main Street Skowhegan’s Business Enhancement Committee, the Entrepreneur Challenge is designed to strengthen Skowhegan’s economy and spur business development in the region.
Information is available at MainStreetSkowhegan.org/Entrepreneur-Challenge. The committee will also share additional information about the program and will be available to answer questions at the Skowhegan Chamber Business After Hours event 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, at Skowhegan Savings Bank, 13 Elm St.