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Chamber embraces student businesses
ebi students and mentors

A DJ, digital marketer, maker of duck calls and baker are among the most recent members of the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce. They are also members of the Newton College and Career Academy (NCCA).

The NCCA’s Entrepreneurial Business Incubator (EBI) students were given membership to the chamber, while they are in high school, after presenting their individual businesses during a lunch link Wednesday at The Center.

The students told the crowd of Newton County business leaders about their individual businesses, in a mini “Shark Tank” setting, discussing what their businesses have done to this point, why they are passionate about it and what they hope for its future, as if they were on the ABC television series of the same name.

“It’s a way to help them get their businesses started and help them gain some marketing and business experience,” Jill McGiboney with the EBI program said.

The businesses produced from the EBI program are varied, with students using their hobbies, experience and knowledge gained in school to form them. Now they will get a chance to refine their businesses with the help of mentors assigned to them by the chamber and Chamber President Ralph Staffins.

Kiera’s Creative Candy will be mentored by Andrea Smith; Hunter’s Duck Calls will be mentored by Jack Moon of McMichaels Construction; Sweet Southern Misses gift baskets will be mentored by Marci Kearns Bennet of Rustic Flair; Enhanced Autosports will be mentored by Rick Allen of Ginn Motor Company, Prepa-mint Wears by Sidney Mask of Town Square Olive Oil; Worton Marketing by Lanier Sims of Dual Deco Marketing; Twin Treats by Jessica Channell of Jessie Cakes; UNVS Productions by Micah McKibben of McKibben Music; 3D Solutions by Mark Ross of Right at Home.

“We’re blessed because the community has bought into our students,” McGiboney said. We’re very blessed to work with the career academy.