(NEW May 15, 2020)
(customize for your business)
Easily Build Your Own 30-second Video for FREE
Spectrum Reach is dedicated to helping our local business community grow and be successful by putting their message in front of customers that use their services, buy their products and shop in their stores.
Now more than ever, the ability for small businesses to get a video message out to the community could make all the difference in helping them remain open and viable.
We understand many small businesses do not have the resources to produce video messaging. Spectrum Reach is offering the ability for local business to easily build their own 30-second video for FREE, through our partnership with a service called Waymark.
The video can be used at their discretion through social media channels, websites, digitally, and as a TV commercial. If they are interested in using the video as a TV commercial, we are also offering 20% off the purchase of their first TV campaign with us.
For more information about creating a Waymark video, visit spectrumreach.com/rebound.
$800+ million to support small businesses and crisis response
$20 million in ad grants to community financial institutions and NGOs specifically to run public service announcements on relief funds and other resources for SMBs.
A $200 million investment fund that will support NGOs and financial institutions around the world to help provide small businesses with access to capital. This is in addition to the $15 million in cash grants Google.org is already providing to nonprofits to help bridge these gaps for SMBs.
$340 million in Google Ads credits available to all SMBs with active accounts over the past year.
A pool of $20 million in Google Cloud credits for academic institutions and researchers to leverage our computing capabilities and infrastructure as they study potential therapies and vaccines, track critical data, and identify new ways to combat COVID-19. Learn how to apply for credits on the Google for Education site.
In addition to these commitments, we also increased the gift match Google offers every employee annually to $10,000 from $7,500. That means our employees can now give $20,000 to organizations in their communities, in addition to the $50 million Google.org has already donated. Together, we’ll continue to help our communities—including our businesses, educators, researchers and nonprofits—to navigate the challenges ahead
A little financial support can go a long way, so FaceBook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help small businesses during this challenging time.
Business Resource Hub
Managing through and building resilience during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Resilience in a Box is based on best practices and is designed to educate newcomers on Business Resilience. Small businesses are both highly vulnerable and without adequate resources with which to focus on taking preparedness actions. These resources will guide your company toward addressing preparedness issues while building in the flexibility to handle potential business interruptions. Resilience in a Box consists of 3 elements:
Resilience in a Box tools are designed to lead every business--even one with no disaster experience or understanding--towards improved resilience. The tools were developed with three levels: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced. The Intermediate level builds upon the Basic tools in order to get businesses better informed and able to readily determine specific actions that will enhance their resilience against all
hazards and potential interruptions. The Business Disaster Resilience 101 Workbook (101 Workbook) is an Intermediate level tool as it provides more detailed business readiness guidance, tips, and resources to assist
companies by addressing their own assets before a disaster occurs.
If you learn you have an employee who has tested positive for COVID-19, what do you do?
Before you proceed, read these CDC guidelines on cleaning and disinfection for community facilities.
Click here for a list of Shoals Chamber-member Cleaning Services.
ALtogether is a one-stop-shop where Alabamians can ask for help or lend a hand during the COVID-19 crisis.
This response effort is designed to connect businesses, nonprofits, and people that need help with the right program partners–and to connect program partners with people and resources to help those most in need.
At a broader level, ALtogether is a coordinated effort to provide policymakers, businesses, foundations, and the public with (1) information about how the crisis is impacting hardworking Alabamians and (2) opportunities to offer assistance to Alabama business owners and workers.
We are #ALtogether
SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS:
The Alabama Small Business Commission has created Atlas Alabama as an easy-to-use website explaining all Federal, State, and/or Local options available to you.
Keep watching it for the latest resources.
Find Qualified Employees
HIRING during COVID-19 crisis??
Register your job openings with NW-SCC Career Center.
The NW-SCC Career Center understands the value of transforming high-quality education into gainful employment. Our services exist to prepare current students & alumni to make informed decisions as they identify their strengths and values while discovering future paths for success.
Check with UNA's Career Center
for upcoming Graduates in your field.
UNA's Career Center is here to help current students & alumni with résumés, interview assistance and general career questions.
Pre-Screening Services & Other Resources
Mobile Drug & Alcohol Testing
Valley Screening, Inc. - VSI provides a wide range of drug testing services that enables businesses to screen out new employees who use drugs, discourage current employees from using drugs and identify those who do, while maintaining compliance with DOT regulations & non-DOT company policies. Services are available 24/7. VSI comes to your location to minimize downtime.
Economic Development, Grants
& Funding Resources
Enhancing the economic vitality of the Shoals through advocacy, connectivity, and education.
The Shoals Chamber of Commerce is the bridge to an educated, productive workforce;
an innovative, pro-business climate; and a connected, diverse community.
The Shoals Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit, membership organization which works closely with local, state and federal government to help promote a positive business climate for the Shoals, although it is not a government entity. The Shoals Chamber is dedicated to bolstering economic growth through legislative involvement. By supporting initiatives that help reduce the cost of doing business in the Shoals, the Chamber champions a competitive regional business climate to compete in the national market.
The WOTC is a Federal tax credit available to employers for hiring individuals from
certain target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment.
The FBP provides fidelity bonds to employers, giving them access to job seekers and
opening doors of opportunity where none existed. The FBP, a unique hiring incentive tool,
targets individuals whose backgrounds can pose significant barriers to securing or retaining employment
Shoals Economic Development Authrority - SEDA is a professional organization dedicated to economic development in Northwest Alabama, including Lauderdale and Colbert Counties. SEDA provides assistance to companies planning new or expanded facilities. The Authority serves as a point of contact to the network of private sector and local, state, and federal government entities that support a company relocation or expansion decision.
SEDA-Assisted Business Incentive Opportunities:
A resource to help employers find the information you need on state and federal laws. Designed to assist employers, including small businesses, and employees find answers to employment and labor law questions, Employment Law Handbook (site) also covers many different areas of labor law including wage payment, discrimination, workplace safety, unemployment, and many others.
The Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments (NACOLG), is the regional planning and intergovernmental coordination agency created by the local governments.
It is a voluntary Association of 37 governmental units in the five county region of Colbert, Franklin, Lauderdale, Marion, and Winston Counties along with the municipalities therein.
NACOLG is not a government, but is an extension of city and county government through which officials meet to decide issues of region-wide importance and work together to solve problems that stretch beyond local government boundaries.
Among others, programs include:
from AlabamaWORKS Site
NW Alabama Employers,
Need training for your employees? So do other employers in the area!
Let us know your needs, so we can help arrange for the most cost-effective, collective training opportunities for all employers with similar needs.
Some training needs may also qualify for grant funding (your tax dollars at work!), which can save employers some, if not all, of the expense!
Get customized training for business & industry or choose from a wide range of existing technical training, administrative assistance, and personal development courses.
NW-SCC believes that veterans & their dependents are entitled to all financial assistance & benefits accrued through service to their country.
This partnership offers tuition scholarships to full-time (30+ hours) employees of business members of the Chambers of Commerce in the Shoals, Franklin, Lawrence & Winston counties.
UNA's Center for Learning & Professional Development is the University’s primary means of extending its educational and training resources to employers seeking updated workplace skills and productivity-improving knowledge and to the non-traditional student, especially to adults seeking continued personal and professional development.
Partner with UNA's Career Center or through the Workforce Development initiative to offer tours, job shadowing, internships, co-ops or participate in hiring fairs for future employees.
to assist veterans, active duty military, guardsmen, and reservists and their family members in taking full advantage of the educational benefits available to them through the GI Bill, Federal Tuition Assistance and other programs. We also strive to help students make the transition from active military duty to UNA.
Apprenticeship Alabama is to ensure business and industry have the tools needed to develop an industry-driven Registered Apprenticeship (RA) program for its citizens.
Construction / Carpentry
Information Technology (IT)
Distribution / Transportation / Logistics
Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services
The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) is committed to helping Alabama businesses find solutions to disability-related issues such as:
locating a talent pool of skilled candidates
retaining a valued employee whose job is affected by illness, injury or disability
accessing no-cost resources to save your company time and money and to address your “hot issues”
finding ways to make your business accessible to customers and employees with disabilities
North Alabama Works! Region 1 Workforce Council membership consist of over 75% business and industry leaders in the region who work together to determine the primary education and workforce training needs of employers. Meetings are open to any interested business representatives. The Council network also includes representatives from post-secondary and K-12 education, the chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, non-profits, and local government agencies.
The council provides a direct link to the workforce needs of business and industry at the local level, and helps to coordinate education, training and job placement system to meet the needs defined by local employers.
North Alabama Works! is a part of the larger statewide Alabama Works! system.
For more information, or to get on the e-communication list, contact:
Stephanie McCulloch, Assistant Director
Contact your local Career Center to see if your business qualifies for funding assistance to hire or train your employees!
Adult Programs include:
Individual Training Accounts (ITAs)
On the Job Training
Incumbent Worker Training
YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK!
The Robotics Training Park (RTP) is a collaboration between the state of Alabama, Alabama Community College System, AIDT, and robotics industry leaders across the nation.
Training is provided AT NO COST to Alabama businesses. YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK!
The RTP consists of three individual training facilities, each targeted to a specific industry need.
The Robotics Maintenance Training Center
The Advanced Research and Development Center
The Integration, Entrepreneurial, and Paint Dispense Training Center and Mobile Robotic Training Lab
The RTP's mission is to provide a technically trained, highly skilled, and educated workforce for automation and robotics, to assist public and private entities in developing new robotics systems and technologies, and to promote the creation, growth, or expansion of companies through innovative technology solutions.
Alabama Industrial Development Training - AIDT is an independent State agency under the supervision and oversight of the Secretary of Commerce, which encourages economic development through job-specific training. Training services are offered in many areas, at no cost to new and expanding businesses throughout the State of Alabama.
Interview T.I.P.S. helps applicants prepare for job interviews. The program includes:
Tips for effective interviewing (preparation, communication, dress)
AIDT is willing to bring this program to your site. Schools, churches, and other community agencies are encouraged to contact AIDT’s Leadership Development team to schedule a program.
Leadership Development Classes are offered on a continuous basis at various Education Alliances around the state.
Leadership Skills 1 is the recommended first course for first-line, team leads and/or new supervisors.
Leadership Skills 2 is a follow-up course to Leadership Skills 1, and includes more advanced topics of supervision.
Leadership Skills 3 is the newest class in the Leadership Skills series. It is recommended for those who have previously attended LSI and LSII.
On-Line Classes - coming soon!
The Alabama Technology Network, part of the Alabama Community College System, has the most extensive training and service offerings for business and industry, ensuring the best possible source for your business needs. These include: Lean Manufacturing, Quality Systems and Engineering, Information Technology, Human Resources and Organizational Development, Environmental Safety and Health (ES&H), Business Services/Strategic Management, Industrial Maintenance, and Engineering and Technical Services.
Shoals Chapter - SHRM is an affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management. They act as a local starting point for individuals to find networking, information, professional development and continued support of excellence in Human Resources to businesses.
The Shoals chapter offers a local forum for personal and professional development, Opportunities to develop leadership, managerial, public speaking and group decision-making skills as well as many other career orientated skills.
Regular Monthly Meetings*:
2nd Thursday, 11:30 - 1:00
Lunch: $12 members, $15 non-members
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
First Metro Bank, downtown Florence
* Meeting time & location are subject to change.
Business Start-up & Entrepreneurship
On Fridays, meet one-on-one with an SBDC representative at the Shoals Chamber of Commerce (20 Hightower Place, Florence).
By appointment only, free of charge.
To schedule call: 256-764-4661
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a resource to help small businesses create jobs in the community. The SBDC provides management and technical assistance to more than one million small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs each year. The SBDC provides no fee face-to-face business consulting and low-cost training on operational & strategic planning, accessing capital, marketing, regulatory compliance, international trade, and more.
NEW Location: 541 W. College Street, Florence
(in the old ECM medical office bldg.)
NW AL SBDC contacts:
Mr. David Black, Director
Phone: (256) 765-4524
Fax: (256) 765-4813
Carolyn Long, Associate Director
Phone: (256) 765-4599
Phillip Marks, Associate Director—Training & Alabama PTAC
Phone: (256) 765-4668
is an idea competition for Middle & High School Students living in the Shoals. It was created to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in the Shoals community’s young people, to generate unique ideas about how to make the Shoals a very cool place to live and work.
is designed to foster new businesses, help entrepreneurs polish their presentations, and introduce community leaders who might be instrumental in helping make their ideas a reality
The Shoals Business Incubator has facilities and resources for companies seeking to innovate their business processes. Our business model has a 90% success rate.
We have three unique spaces for any kind of business you can imagine. Office space, industrial and manufacturing space as well as a specialty food production space. If you can dream it, you can make it with us.
The LiftOff Shoals startup competition is to promote and reward high-growth, innovative ventures that have the potential to grow and thrive in Colbert and Lauderdale Counties. The competition is for new, independent ventures in the pre-seed, seed, startup or early-growth stages, or for the expansion of an existing business into a new high-growth market.
The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama - EDPA is a private, non-profit organization funded by more than 60 Alabama companies that works to attract, retain and grow jobs in Alabama, while encouraging innovation through its Alabama Launchpad program, which helps early-stage companies start, stay and grow in the state.