New opportunity for corporate volunteers and funders to bolster economic success in Charlotte’s Corridors of Opportunity
The City of Charlotte’ Corridors of Opportunity program supports six underinvested areas to: foster thriving communities for residents and businesses, build lasting legacies and grow communities equitably. Recognizing the significance of this program in ensuring economic opportunity, Apparo is now piloting the expansion of its nonprofit support model to reach small businesses in these Corridors of Opportunity.
Apparo, a Charlotte-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit, will help a cohort of small businesses reach their full potential through technology and business process enhancement, so that they can do more to help their neighborhoods flourish economically.
“We recognize through our work with nonprofits that technology can become a difficult hurdle to overcome, limiting optimal organizational performance,” says Kristen Reed, Apparo’s Director of Financial Development. “Like nonprofits, small businesses have limited bandwidth and expertise when it comes to optimizing their use of technology and this jeopardizes their pathway to success.
“Ensuring the stability and long-term sustainability of small businesses in under resourced neighborhoods is perfectly aligned with Apparo’s mission. These businesses are the heartbeat of their communities and drive economic growth. When they succeed, the community flourishes.”
On Friday October 27, 2023 Apparo hosted a gathering of seven local organizations that each support small businesses in the Corridors of Opportunity to learn about the pressing needs of these businesses. Organizations in attendance were: The Boost Pad, Historic West End Partners, West Boulevard Neighborhood Coalition, Northside Charlotte, ASPIRE Community Capital and the Latin American Chamber of Commerce.
Based on finding from this gathering, Apparo will provide education in areas that small businesses have self-identified as critical to their success, including: technology infrastructure, digital marketing, cybersecurity, data management and data analytics. “We will not only elevate knowledge and skills, but also provide actionable takeaways, templates and tools that they can immediate implement to improve their business processes,” shares Reed.
Apparo seeks corporate volunteer and funding support to ensure the success of this service expansion to small businesses. Individuals seeking to share their business and technology workplace skills are encouraged to volunteer as technology mentors for the small businesses in this pilot cohort. To learn more about how you can share your expertise to make a positive impact on a Corridor of Opportunity, please reach out to [email protected]. Apparo also seeks funding support to ensure the sustainability of this programming beyond the pilot phase. To learn more about underwriting opportunities, please reach out to [email protected].