Apply for Chatham SPARK program by January 31 deadline

Siler City, NC – The Central Carolina Community College Small Business Center, Chatham Chamber of Commerce, and Mountaire Farms have partnered on a new entrepreneur-development program that will introduce prospective and new business owners in Chatham County to the concepts and practices that will lead to business success. 

The new Chatham SPARK Program is an entrepreneur-development program presented by the Central Carolina Community College Small Business Center, Chatham Chamber of Commerce, and Mountaire Farms. Pictured are, left to right: CCCC Small Business Center Chatham Coordinator Phillip Pappas, CCCC President Dr. Lisa M. Chapman, CCCC Vice President for Workforce Development Margaret Roberton, Chatham Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Cindy Poindexter, and Mountaire Farms of N.C. Community Relations Manager Sasha Duncan.

The new eight-week Chatham SPARK Program will run from March 1 through May 3 and will assist participants in developing a business plan and gaining insight into financing, legal considerations, marketing, bookkeeping, and taxes. The evening classes will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. at Central Carolina Community College’s Siler City Center, 400 Progress Blvd., Siler City.

At the end of the program, each participant will have the opportunity to present his or her plan and business concept to a team of business professionals. Participants who have not yet opened a brick-and-mortar location and are interested in opening a new business in Siler City may be considered for a small business grant assistance package. One business could receive a $5,000 reimbursable grant provided for rent, utilities, or renovations (as funds are available), one annual Base Level membership to the Chatham Chamber of Commerce, plus extensive marketing, and business support.

“The Chatham Chamber of Commerce is looking forward to engaging with entrepreneurs and partnering with the Chatham Small Business Center of CCCC through the Chatham SPARK program,” said Cindy Poindexter, President/CEO of the Chatham Chamber of Commerce. “We are excited to have the opportunity to assist entrepreneurs and new businesses with the framework needed to be successful in business.”

Phillip Pappas, CCCC Small Business Center Coordinator in Chatham County, says that starting a business can be difficult, and managing a successful business is even more challenging. “Chatham SPARK is truly a grassroots economic improvements venture designed to provide tangible resources to our business community,” said Pappas. “With access to subject matter experts, real-time assistance developing a professional business plan, and the opportunity to receive a reimbursable grant from Mountaire Farms, Chatham SPARK is poised to become a regional standard in community outreach and small business development.”

Sasha Duncan, Community Relations Manager for Mountaire Farms of North Carolina, said that “Mountaire Farms is excited to support the Chatham SPARK grant — through both the Central Carolina Community College Small Business Center and the Chatham Chamber of Commerce, which will help new businesses and foster economic development in the Siler City community”

Chatham SPARK classes are free, but participants must be pre-registered and approved to be guaranteed a space. Registration is open to anyone interested in starting a business in Chatham County. Class size is limited to 12 individuals.

For more information or to register for the program, visit or call 919-545-8015. The application deadline is Jan. 31, 2022.