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Business mentors of SCORE help develop companies, local jobs

SYRACUSE — The Syracuse chapter of SCORE, a nonprofit business-mentoring group, says it has helped create 97 new businesses and develop 922 new jobs in its Central New York coverage area during the past three years.


That’s according to Joseph Pagano, marketing chair for the Syracuse chapter.


Washington, D.C.–based SCORE offers the nation’s “largest network of free, expert business mentors,” according to its website. SCORE is short for Service Corps of Retired Executives. The Syracuse chapter of SCORE covers Onondaga, Madison, and Cortland counties.



SCORE has awarded the Syracuse chapter platinum status for three straight years, based on its mentoring efforts with local entrepreneurs, says Pagano. 


“You have to accomplish certain goals, a certain number of mentoring relationships, and achieve goals … to achieve platinum status,” says Pagano.


Pagano, who also served as the local chapter’s president between 2009 and 2010, spoke with CNYBJ on Aug. 31.


He has been involved with SCORE for about a decade, serving as a business mentor. Before his involvement in SCORE, Pagano served as a vice president of sales and marketing at Kalamazoo, Michigan–based Borroughs Corp. That post involved traveling and other duties he could handle while living in Central New 

York, he says.


Pagano’s career also included working at the Marsellus Casket Co. in Syracuse, he adds.


Job creation

PricewaterhouseCoopers, an international audit and assurance, tax, and consulting-services firm, speaks to the clients that SCORE mentors to compile the job-creation statistics, says Pagano.


By launching a business, the owner is creating a job and then adding to the employee count with additional hires, says Pagano.


“As a result of our work with [the entrepreneurs], we effectively created 922 new jobs that didn’t exist prior to our involvement … and in effect, created 97 new companies as a direct result of our mentoring,” he adds.


But he also notes that “a lot more” entrepreneurs didn’t reach the point of launching operations.


SCORE begins its relationship with entrepreneurs by offering a workshop on how to start a business. 


“We’ll get anywhere from 17 to 20 people that [will] come to that workshop. It’s an all-day workshop,” says Pagano.


In the workshop, SCORE members discuss how to write a business plan, along with the legal aspects and the financing and marketing issues involved.


Beyond the workshop, entrepreneurs work with SCORE members in one-on-one sessions.


“As a volunteer organization, we don’t charge for our services, nor do we sell anything,” he notes.


“Power Lunch”

The Syracuse SCORE chapter holds a lunch at the end of its fiscal year for its members and sponsors, says Pagano. It operates on the same fiscal year as the federal government, Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.


SCORE has scheduled its event, called “Power Lunch,” for Sept. 22 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Syracuse-Liverpool at 441 Electronics Parkway in Salina.


“The only way we get funding is from donations,” he says, noting that area banks are among those who donate.


U.S. Representative John Katko (R–Camillus) will be the keynote speaker at the event and discuss the topic, “Impact of Small Business on the Economy.”


SCORE also uses the event to elect officers and hand out some awards.


The Syracuse SCORE chapter has about 50 members, including those who have worked as attorneys, insurance representatives, accountants, and financiers.


SCORE has area chapters in Auburn, Binghamton, Syracuse, and Utica, according to its website. 


The Syracuse SCORE office is located at 224 Harrison St., Suite 506, in the Syracuse district office of the U.S. Small Business Administration.        




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