Applications are now closed for the 2023/2024 Class.
Please keep an eye out in the Spring for the 2024/2025 Application.
The Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, the City of Middletown and The Essex Group are proud to present a new Side Street to Main Street Business & Leadership Development Program. A unique, award-winning entrepreneurial business and leadership development program designed to help people who have not had formal business training to develop the attitudes, skills and qualities necessary for business ownership and success. The program begins with 16 intensive weekly sessions to build skills and a formal business plan. Quarterly follow-up sessions reinforce the process so that participants meet with their expert business facilitators over the course of a full year. Classes are held at the Chamber offices, 393 Main Street, Middletown.
The Program is funded by a generous grant from the City of Middletown and is facilitated by professionals from The Essex Group.
- This is a competitive application program. Applicants are offered places in the Program based on the following criteria:
- Applicants for the Program are qualified for acceptance based on information they provide in the online application submitted not later than Orientation Night (last Tuesday evening of August).
- Mandatory Program Orientation Meeting: All applicants who submit an online application MUST ATTEND IN PERSON to be considered for the program.
- The program roster fills quickly. Once applications are submitted and qualified, only 16 people will be selected to assure maximum impact and effectiveness of the program.
- Priority is given to Middletown residents, Business “Know-How” Graduates and qualified applicants from prior years who did not make the program cut-off at the time.
- In the case of qualification ties, those submitting qualified applications are accepted in the chronological order of their placement on the Applicants list as maintained by the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce.
- Program Content:
- Personal Behavior and Motivational Assessments
- Personal Goal Setting and Achievement Techniques
- Time Mastery Processes
- Comprehensive Business Planning program with text/workbook
- Sales Skills and Customer Service segments
- Product and Services Pricing insights
- Personal Dreams and Aspirations
- Financial Planning
- Labor Law
- Family Business Considerations
- Exit Planning
- Business Plan Showcase
- And Much More!
- Full Year Program:
- Mandatory Orientation Session after online Application Submission (3-4 hours, last Tuesday evening of August) Must be present to qualify for the Program
- 16 Weekly intensive classroom sessions (3-4 hours per week beginning the first Tuesday evening in October 2023, ending in February 2024)
- Each week, 12-16 hours of homework are assigned which must be submitted the following week
- Program Graduation and follow-up working session #1 (third Tuesday in March)
- Follow-up session #2 (third Tuesday in June)
- Follow-up session #3 (third Tuesday in September)
ORIGINS OF THE SIDE STREET TO MAIN STREET BUSINESS & LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
In 1996, there were very few minority-owned businesses in Middlesex County. At the urging of the Middlesex County NAACP, the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce created the Side Street to Main Street Business & Leadership Development Program, and sought the financial support of Aetna, Inc., who generously funded and supported the Program for 23 years, ending with its last funding in 2019.
The Side Street to Main Street Business & Leadership Development Program, a one year long entrepreneurial and business development course, with a rigorous curriculum, was specifically designed to assist minority small business owners in the community, who did not have formal business training, to become more successful by developing the attitudes, skills and qualities necessary for effective business ownership and success, taking them from the Side Street to the Main Street of the business community. Since the inception of the Program in 1997, over 278 people have graduated from the Side Street to Main Street Business & Leadership Development Program, and it has been a successful and effective way in which we have encouraged the development and growth of small, minority-owned businesses, which are now part of the greater Middlesex County business community.
AN AWARD WINNING PROGRAM
Taught by The Essex Group Facilitator, JIM JACKSON, the Side Street to Main Street Business & Leadership Development Program won a number of awards since its first Program began in 1997/1998.
The 1998 Middlesex County NAACP Business Award for the Side Street to Main Street Business & Leadership Development Program was the first NAACP Business Award to any state Chamber of Commerce.
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy honored the Side Street to Main Street Business & Leadership Development Program with the Vision 2000 Award as the State Model of Excellence for Minority Business Development.
In 2006, The Middlesex County NAACP’s Annual Business Award was renamed the Lawrence D. McHugh Business Award in recognition of Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce President, Larry McHugh’s ongoing commitment to minority business development.
The first recipients of the renamed award were: Aetna, Inc. for their funding and support of the Side Street to Main Street Business & Leadership Development Program.
Jim Jackson and David Bohy of The Essex Group for designing and facilitating the Side Street to Main Street Business & Leadership Development Program.
In 2007, the U.S. Small Business Administration gave its Connecticut Minority Small Business Champion Award to Jim Jackson for his work on the Side Street to Main Street Business & Leadership Development Program.
In 2011, the Side Street to Main Street Business & Leadership Development Program was presented with a Celebrate Connecticut! Award by the Connecticut Economic Resource Center (CERC), along with a Statement of Recognition from
Governor Dannel P. Malloy, for commitment and service, promoting economic development in the State of Connecticut.
In 2012, the Side Street to Main Street Program was again honored by the Middlesex County NAACP at their annual Membership and Freedom Fund Dinner and presented with a Community Service Award “In Gratitude for Providing Entrepreneurial and Business Development Course Designed to Assist Minority Small Business Owners in Middlesex County.”
For more detailed information on Minority Entrepreneurial and Business Programs, Email: email@example.com