Power Up Spartanburg, Spartanburg County’s five-year small and minority business development initiative, officially launches

March 23, 2023

What is Power Up Spartanburg?

Funded by Spartanburg County Council, Power Up Spartanburg is a five-year, $6-million, countywide Small and Minority Business Development Initiative aiming to make Spartanburg the best place in the U.S. to start, run, and grow a small or minority business.

Why is this work important?

Data used to compile the OneSpartanburg Vision Plan 2.0 showed small business ownership countywide was below the national average, and Spartanburg County lagged behind the nation, by 30%, in the number of Black-owned, nonemployee businesses.

Spartanburg County Council members Monier Abusaft and Jessica Coker were motivated by this data to work with fellow council members on developing and supporting a small and minority business development plan.

What work will be done under Power Up Spartanburg?

  • A business loans and grants initiative will be started, with about $2.5 million earmarked to support small and minority businesses. Guidelines to apply for funding will be announced in the summer.
  • Developers and property owners will be engaged to activate small-scale storefronts and other micro-spaces in active downtowns countywide.
  • The accessibility and reach of accelerators geared toward small and minority businesses will be expanded to reach countywide.
  • A pilot of the in-depth MIT Venture Mentoring Service will be launched to support entrepreneurial activities with free and objective mentoring. Power Up Spartanburg will be the 120th organization/initiative to implement this program.
  • A vetted list of subject matter experts will be made available to small and minority businesses.
  • A process to connect small and minority businesses to large employers, including required certifications and licensures, will be implemented.
  • Power Up Dialogues, a new event series, will connect small and minority businesses to local experts, success stories, and valuable networking.
  • Community captains representing areas across Spartanburg County will be part of a robust resource list to further the work of Power Up Spartanburg.
  • Powered by Duke Energy, The Grid will be a digital connection point and network, providing access to peers, resources, service providers, expertise, and other services critical to small and minority businesses.

“The work of Power Up Spartanburg will energize small and minority businesses, entrepreneurs, and those with dreams of starting a business all across Spartanburg County. The data shows us this initiative is important, and we are grateful to our partners at Spartanburg County – particularly Council members Monier Abusaft and Jessica Coker – for bringing Power Up Spartanburg to life,” said OneSpartanburg, Inc. President & CEO Allen Smith.