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Economy

More Clients for SCORE During Pandemic

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SCORE Quad Cities
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While the pandemic has forced many businesses to slow down or even close, it's had the opposite effect on a group that helps advise businesses. Client services provided by the Quad Cities Chapter of SCORE jumped 82 per cent since last year.

Chapter Chair Tom Trone says his group offers mentors and education to small businesses, from one employee up to several hundred. And one service they offer is how to connect with federal aid programs, such as paycheck protection.

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"Some were weak going into the COVID period so this amplified the problems they were experiencing and made it even more difficult, so there were a lot of companies that failed. Those that were able to pivot or change or had sufficient resources were able to survive through the period."

When the pandemic began last year, Trone says SCORE itself had to pivot, and began holding all of its workshops online - and that helped SCORE and local businesses.

"Where we would meet one-on-one with people or have a workshop with 20 people in the room, we had workshops with 100, 200, and 300 people on a virtual platform. We could never do that or it would be extremely difficult to do that in the physical world."

And the organization plans to continue offering virtual workshops when the pandemic is over, or at least brought under control.

The Quad Cities SCORE chapter currently has 29 members, 400 clients, and serves businesses in 15 counties - seven in Illinois and eight in Iowa.

(SCORE originally stood for Service Corps of Retired Executives, but now membership includes many others so they just used the acronym)