AIKEN, SC (WJBF)- The City of Aiken recently unveiled plans for the Aiken Business Coalition Entrepreneurship Program (ABCE). It’s a loan, grant and training program focused on helping small business owners start up and grow.

Participants will go through a four week training period with an additional six weeks of coaching from successful small business owners in Aiken.

The training classes will focus on things like the basics of business, book keeping and record keeping, marketing and branding and other topics that business owners need to know to be successful.

After they finish the program and all criteria is met, entrepreneurs will be guaranteed a grant or loan for their business.

“Small businesses are something that our council views as very important to the fabric of the community, so we looked for some sort of program and some partners to work and help nurture small business,” said Stuart Bedenbaugh, Aiken City Manager.

Aiken mayor, Rick Osbon, said this program has been successful in places like Athens and Albany, Georgia and he enthusiastic that it will be good for Aiken.

“This is a great opportunity for our city to reach out to entrepreneurs, small business owners, minority business owners, and really give some training, some help and tie in with some financial support.”

The program is headed by the Aiken Business Coalition, the Greater Augusta Black Chamber of Commerce and the Aiken County Branch of the NAACP.

There is no start date yet, but they plan to start sometime in February.

For more information contact: Stuart Bedenbaugh, City Manager City of Aiken,