Small Business

Virginia Small Business Development Center @ Mountain Empire Community College

The Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) located at Mountain Empire Community College offers free business consulting
, affordable training courses, personal referrals to local resources, guidance, insights, and connections to help businesses succeed.  The Small Business Development Center at Mountain Empire Community College is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business AdministrationServices are confidential and there is no charge for counseling services.

MECC’s Small Business Development Center provides the following services:

  • Management Skills: Provides guidance and counsel to help businesses become effective and efficient by improving management skills and operational effectiveness.
  • Business Information: Provides access to a wide variety of economic and business data which includes federal, state, and private sector publications.
  • Business Planning: Assists the potential entrepreneur with identification and evaluation of the most important factors related to the success of his or her enterprise.
  • Productivity Improvement: Enhances competitiveness through training and technical assistance.
  • Workshops: Conducts workshops on a wide variety of topics related to starting and operating a business in Southwest Virginia.
  • Networking Assistance: Helps in identifying sources of information and/or services related to small business.
  • Loan Application Assistance
  • Sources of business financing
  • Financial Analysis
  • Marketing
  • Permits, licenses and taxes 

Contact SBDC:

Small Business Development Center
3441 Mountain Empire Road
Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
Phone: (276) 523-6529
Fax: (276) 523-8139

​Pioneer Center for Business Opportunity

Located in the City of Norton and Duffield, the Pioneer Centers are the only business incubators serving the LENOWISCO Planning District (including Lee, Wise, and Scott Counties and the City of Norton).  The purpose of an incubator facility is to provide a sheltered environment conducive to the growth and development of small businesses.

A business incubator assists new and developing entrepreneurial companies by providing a nurturing early-stage environment, with flexible leases at affordable rates, plus business services such as fax/copying, conference areas,  and management/clerical support.

According to the U. S. Small Business Administration, small businesses constitute more than 90 percent of all businesses in the United States, and create more than 80 percent of new jobs.  Yet, despite these impressive statistics, as many as 80 percent of all new small businesses fail within their first five years of operation.

Nationwide studies show that business incubators help reverse this failure/success rate, with more than 80 percent of incubator “graduates” surviving that high-risk phase.  Incubators are part of a growing nationwide trend to help small businesses – and local economies – survive and flourish.

Incubator tenants are not “permanent residents,” but remain in a facility for an average of two years before graduating, being replaced by new tenants.

The Pioneer Center's Norton Facility is Located:
Hotel Norton
798 Park Avenue NW - Suite 200

Norton, VA 24273

For a tour or to learn more, call 276-431-7226 or email