In 2004, the City of Kingsport and Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce jointly established the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE), a non-profit economic development organization, to specifically nurture, counsel and encourage the continued robust growth and development of startups and existing small businesses in Kingsport, Tennessee.
Services include but are not limited to: business plan writing; business form selection; education and training; application assistance for grants, loans and other capital sources; assistance in accessing new markets; business development; sales and marketing assistance; e-commerce facilitation; providing networking opportunities; professional services and referrals; connection to international trade; small business certification and registration assistance; and computer and software support.
A volunteer council, consisting of 12 members, meets once a month to review cooperative agreements, develop new strategies to achieve objectives, discuss any off- track items and develop corrective action plans, review client feedback, and assess KOSBE’s performance against selected indicators. Peer Counselors, made up of nine volunteers that are experts in one or more key areas of business, enhance and expand KOSBE’s private counseling capability.
In 2008, KOSBE became a strategic resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, by signing a three-year Strategic Alliance Memorandum.