WASHINGTON, Feb. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- SCORE, the nation's largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, congratulates its Washington D.C. chapter on being named SCORE National Chapter of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Regional SCORE Chapter of the Year award winners include SCORE Kansas City, Cleveland, Rhode Island, Greater Seattle, North Metro Atlanta, Houston and Santa Barbara chapters.
The Washington D.C. chapter was selected from among 241 SCORE chapters nationwide based on its quick and effective response in supporting small business owners during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many business owners reached out for help, as illustrated by the chapter's 28% increase in total services in 2020.
When the pandemic hit, SCORE D.C. moved operations to an all-virtual mentoring format, allowing it to support business owners without missing a day of service. Volunteer mentors successfully walked business owners through PPP and EIDL loan applications, and provided valuable advice on pivoting operations, adapting marketing strategies and making critical decisions about employees.
"I am so proud of our team and the work we've been able to do to help small business owners thrive, despite this pandemic," says SCORE D.C. Chapter Chair Mariann Zylstra. "It truly takes a village, and our volunteers are extremely dedicated and hardworking. I would like to especially thank the leadership and efforts of my predecessor, Gary Salisbury. As a result of all chapter efforts, we are proud to say, 2020 was our best year ever in providing client services."
"This chapter's success goes far beyond 2020 metrics," says SCORE VP of Field Operations Doug Nohe. "Over the past several years, SCORE D.C. has consistently ranked in the top five (SCORE) chapters for the number and quality of client services delivered, for increased satisfaction of chapter volunteers and for expanded outreach in the local community."
Looking towards the future, SCORE D.C. continues to strengthen partnerships with community organizations, in an effort to expand vital small business mentoring and educational services in the D.C. metro area. Current partnerships include the Women's Business Center of Northern Virginia, the Black Chamber of Commerce in Washington D.C., the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and others.
The chapter is also well known for hosting the Perfect Product Pitch: Mastering the Art of Persuasion competition, which, last year, resulted in over 30 small business introductions to major retailers.
The SCORE D.C. chapter was honored with the SCORE Chapter of the Year Award during a virtual awards ceremony on Feb. 17.