by Pat Hammond, Queen City Buzz
Celebrating Our 50th Year As NH SCORE Chapter
On November 1, 1967, the Merrimack Valley Chapter of SCORE received its official charter, being among the first chapters in the then three-year-old Service Corps of Retired Executives, as the organization was then known. Today, SCORE boasts more than 370 chapters nationwide and over 13,000 volunteer mentors.
Based in Manchester and one of six SCORE chapters in New Hampshire, our service area includes Hillsborough and Merrimack counties, including the towns of Concord, Manchester, Salem, Nashua and Milford.
“Timely, Quality Business Counseling” is our mission. Approximately 65 volunteer mentors assist start-ups and existing small businesses by providing free business counseling, small business training, and a vast library of resource information, most of which is available online at no cost.
Our mentors—current and former business professionals—boast a wide range of business experience, including marketing and sales, engineering, manufacturing, contract management, finance, general management, human resources, retailing, service and more. Employing their individual skills, they assist clients in evaluating and developing plans for new businesses, solving business problems, and directing them to needed resources, including financing.
Clients find us through the Internet, via referrals from banks and the SBA, as a result of our publicity efforts, and from word of mouth. We meet with clients at their businesses, our offices, or in public locations such as libraries, whatever best accommodates their schedules. Our chapter handles an average of 14 new cases a week.
Our goal is to help clients avoid common mistakes, provide guidance and help them become successful. All the chapter’s volunteers and its resources are available to every client and remain so as long as they are wanted or needed. Many mentors and their clients maintain long-term relationships.
Past chair Dianne Connolly announced Merrimack Valley SCORE’s two business competitions, with $10,000 in prizes, to be held in 2017 as part of the chapter’s 50th anniversary celebration.