Business grants of up to $20,000 available to MEO Core Four grads

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June 15, 2023

A new Core Four Business Planning series, offered by Maui Economic Opportunity, runs from July 5 to Aug. 3 – with graduates eligible for up $20,000 in startup grants by submitting a business plan for review.

The top 12 plans will be eligible for grants in the third year of the program, offered by MEO’s Business Development Center and supported by Maui County’s Office of Economic Development.

Malama Speech Therapy Services LLC, a startup offering occupational, physical, and speech therapy services in a clinical setting, captured the top grant award last year. A total of 12 startups on Maui and Moloka‘i won awards.

The Core Four Business Planning Course covers structural components on writing a business plan and provides the information needed to start, operate and grow a business. It is geared for those thinking of starting a business or who already have started and need direction.

The course cost is $75. Financial assistance is available upon request.

The course offers a total of 26 hours of instruction over the five weeks, meeting 5 to 7 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, except for the first week when the class meets Wednesday and Thursday due to the Fourth of July holiday.

Classes will be offered in-person and via Zoom.

“We thank Council Member Tasha Kama for her vision in putting this start up grant program together with MEO Business Development Center’s Core Four Business Planning Course. These startup grants are a critical piece for entrepreneurs ready to make their business dreams come true,” said BDC Director David Daly. “The grant offerings last year attracted more than 100 Core Four class participants – with over 30 grant applications.”

Daly noted that entrepreneurs often have attractive business ideas but lack the practical knowledge of turning those dreams into reality.

“This Core Four series will give startups a plan for success while having a chance to gain startup capital,” he said.

Registration is required and can be done by submitting on an online application “Core Four Registration Form 2023

Enrollment forms also can be picked up from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays by appointment at MEO’s Family Center in Wailuku near the J. Walter Cameron Center. For more information, call (808) 249-2990.

The Core Four series is funded by Maui County through the Office of Economic Development.

Emily Steenbergh, founder of Malama Therapy Services, wrote the top business plan in a Maui Economic Opportunity Business Development Center competition last year and received a $25,000 grant. Her business provides occupational, physical and speech therapy services. Office is located in South Maui.

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