Grants help local business set up shop in downtown Charleston

Grants help local business set up shop in downtown Charleston
Published: May. 31, 2022 at 10:35 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Starting your own business is no easy task.

Five years ago, Rebecca Coburn said she started her journey braiding hair in a 100-square-foot space.

“It fit literally me, a shampoo bowl, and one other chair,” she said.

Fast forward to 2022. With the help of numerous grants, Coburn Braids+Twists on Summer Street in downtown Charleston became a reality for Coburn.

A mother of four, Coburn says her salon is the first in Charleston to focus specifically on braiding hair. She said without the help of grants, she’s not sure where she’d be now.

“The Charleston area alliance gave me $5,000, I was a recipient of a Black Business national grant, which was $5,000, and also received the Charleston city grant which was a reimbursement of 75% of $10,000,” Coburn said.

New businesses in downtown Charleston are something Susie Salisbury, vice president of Community Development for the Charleston Area Alliance, wants to see more of.

She said everything Coburn has achieved with the help of grants is what they hope others can do, as well.

“She is the model example of how all of these different efforts and programs can actually really help get a small business launched,” Salisbury said.

Salisbury says whether it’s through grants, the Small Business Development Center, or entrepreneurial training, there are a lot of opportunities to start a business.

The Small Business Development Center can be reached at 888-WVA-SBDC.

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