Tampa organization to help nearly 45 business owners thrive


Left to right: Tahisia Scantling, Charles Young, Jr., Carol Minor, Derrick Blue, Albert Lee, Livorno Williams and Joel Barnum
The Tampa Hillsborough Action Plan (THAP) has launched a new initiative titled PITCH (Push, Improve, Teach, Challenge and Help).

In its initial phase, the East Tampa-based project has partnered with the Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation (BBIC) and its CATCH program to offer a variety of business courses.  

Nearly 45 entrepreneurs representing an array of professions from attorneys to landscapers will undergo 15 weeks of training on various topics, including finance, marketing, time management and customer service.

Helping them survive
The first cohort of trainees is from THAP’s 5508 Co-working and Collaborative Exchange.  

“The primary purpose of 5508 is to nurture new and small businesses by helping them to survive and grow through the difficult and vulnerable early stages of development,” says Derrick Blue, interim CEO of THAP. 

“The goal of incubators is to increase the chance that a start-up will succeed, and shorten the time and reduce the cost of establishing and growing its business. That’s what we’re here to do, be the connector.”  

Tools to compete
THAP has teamed up with several partners in this effort, including the Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation (BBIC), the Small Business Development Council (SBDC), and TD Bank.  

“Through the BBIC’s CATCH program at 5508, we are able to provide quality training from skilled instructors. This version of the program has been modified to fit each individual business at 5508. I promise that they won’t be disappointed,” said Tahisia Scantling, an independent business consultant.

PITCH is a three-year training initiative at THAP and will provide classroom instruction, technical assistance and mentorship to assist 5508 members and collaborists. 
Graduating participants will be equipped with the tools needed to compete in the market place at a high level.
For more information, visit thapgroup.org.



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