RED Launches CO.STARTERS Rebuild Program to Help Small Businesses Recover

Regional Economic Development Partnership (RED) is accepting applications for CO.STARTERS Rebuild, a 10-session, live and virtually facilitated program that helps small businesses impacted by COVID-19 refocus, stabilize and build toward long-term recovery.

COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted Black Americans, with higher infection rates in West Virginia and across the nation. But experts say the pandemic has also magnified existing economic disparities and raised fresh concerns about the survival of Black businesses. Therefore, local Black-owned businesses are especially encouraged to participate in this program.

Entrepreneurs who participate in the CO.STARTERS Rebuild program will be able to confidently move forward with actionable next steps for their business, identify creative solutions, find both short-term and long-term financial stability, and adapt in an uncertain environment. Participants will work with a certified facilitator and dedicated group of peers in a series of two-and-a-half-hour virtual sessions, covering topics that help them adapt and remodel their business to meet changing customer needs. The program uses a simple e-learning platform and live-facilitated video sessions that stream to any computer or mobile device, as well as a physical binder to help participants work through the content offline between sessions.

The Rebuild program is part of a five-step small business “Road to Recovery” framework created by CO.STARTERS, an international entrepreneur support network with more than a decade of experience supporting successful entrepreneurs. CO.STARTERS Rebuild uses a proven model to guide small business owners through effective business modeling methods in a simple and intuitive way, while connecting them to a supportive community of peers and mentors.

Valued at more than $500, the Rebuild program is being offered during this challenging time to local businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers in Ohio, Marshall and Wetzel counties for a reduced rate of $50, thanks to the generous support of RED. The 10-session CO.STARTERS Rebuild program will begin Monday, June 22, and meet weekly on  Monday evenings for 10 consecutive weeks.


Interested business owners should contact Valerie Piko, RED’s small business coordinator, at by Monday, June 15. To qualify for the program scholarship, business owners should provide a one to two paragraph description of their business and their current challenges.

RED partnered with Wheeling Heritage in 2018 to bring the CO.STARTERS program to Wheeling. Since then, over 30 entrepreneurs have benefited from the program.

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“We’ve seen tremendous success in our traditional CO.STARTERS program over the past couple of years and we are excited to offer the program again, but in a new format that is specific for businesses impacted from COVID-19. If a business has lost customers, is struggling to figure out how to move forward and is looking for more than immediate assistance, this is the program for them,” said Piko.

Small businesses are a major economic driver for local economies and have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, but often do not receive the same level of support as larger employers. With the Rebuild program, RED and CO.STARTERS aim to narrow that gap.

 “With many small business owners across the country feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and alone, we built Rebuild and the Road to Recovery model to cut through the debilitating flood of information and resources and help entrepreneurs find confidence to take the first steps toward recovery through these uncertain times,” said Enoch Elwell, CO.STARTERS Founder. “This framework, support group, and set of curated resources provides business owners with the knowledge, confidence, and connectedness to take decisive action when it matters most.”

For more information about CO.STARTERS network and initiatives, visit To learn about the Rebuild program in the Wheeling region visit


About Regional Economic Development Partnership (RED)

Our mission is to create business opportunities in West Virginia by generating new jobs and stimulating the economy. RED Partnership is a one-stop resource for development programs as well as business environment, demographic, economic and community information in the Wheeling region, including Ohio, Marshall and Wetzel Counties.


CO.STARTERS helps individuals and communities thrive through entrepreneurship by equipping them with strategy, tools, and relationships. Building on initial grassroots efforts with small business starters in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the CO.STARTERS network now has an international reach with thousands participating in its programs annually. Since 2008, CO.STARTERS has equipped more than 690 local leaders across 200+ communities, helping more than 12,000 starters move forward with their ventures. From the beginning, CO.STARTERS has pioneered a community-based approach to economic development, and has played a leading national role in increasing small business success and growing entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Media Contact:

Valerie Piko

Regional Economic Development Partnership (RED)


P: 412-951-4200

Tianna Weaver


P: (423) 535-9079