SCORE, OBX Voice partner to foster business community

By on November 30, 2017

The Outer Banks Voice runs a series of articles each month focusing on community organizations such as the Outer Banks SPCA, the Substance Abuse Task Force and the Outer Banks Community Foundation.

Starting this month we add SCORE Outer Banks chapter, a nationwide organization that helps entrepreneurs start businesses and maintain good business practices once they are open for business.

SCORE chapter meeting at the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce

From an award-winning restaurant to a wine and beer shop, from an electrical contractor to a high tech digital marketing firm and from an animal hospital to a stay at home niche pottery business, since 1981, SCORE Outer Banks – Chapter 497 has helped fulfill entrepreneurs’ dreams.


Whether starting a new business or solving problems for existing businesses SCORE Outer Banks does so at no cost and with complete confidentiality.

All on a volunteer basis from a cadre of business counselors with decades of successful experience from a broad spectrum of industries and fields of business expertise.

SCORE Outer Banks is one of over 300 chapters across the country that make up the nonprofit SCORE Association, the 501(c)(3) resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

In the past year, the national SCORE Association helped clients start over 54,000 new businesses, created 78,000 new non-owner jobs and helped over 38,000 businesses increase revenue. As one of the nation’s oldest, yet smallest chapters, SCORE Outer Banks has had a similar and lasting impact on our local economy.

In the months ahead, we will explore that impact, provide insights to some of the unique business challenges the Outer Banks faces such as lack of affordable housing for workers and the natural seasonality of our economy, offer best business practices through a series of in-depth articles and profile success stories and the experience SCORE mentors can bring to you.


But first, let’s look at the free services SCORE Outer Banks provide on a free one on one basis. If you are thinking of starting a business their mentors can:

  • Confidentially review business ideas
  • Explain how to apply for licenses, purchase equipment, lease real estate, etc.
  • Provide information on finding legal and CPA services
  • Help create a detailed business plan
  • Offer advice on business negotiations
  • Coach clients through pre-finance preparations

If you are currently in business, SCORE can:

  • Confidentially review and evaluate your business situation
  • Identify served markets vs. new markets
  • Assess product portfolios
  • Assist with SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)
  • Identify business options
  • Develop growth strategies

SCORE volunteers are available for counseling on a walk-in basis every Tuesday from 11 AM to 2 PM upstairs in the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce building in Kill Devil Hills.  Appointments for counseling sessions at other times or locations can be made by calling SCORE at 252-256-9717 or by email at


In addition throughout the year SCORE Outer Banks offers free or minimal cost workshops on a broad range of business subjects.

A preview of some of this year’s planned twelve workshops includes; “Simple Steps for Starting Your Business”, “How to Market a Seasonal Business”, “Disaster Preparedness” and “Three Marketing Approaches Every Business Needs”, to name just a few.

We look forward in the months ahead to allowing you to “Discover SCORE Outer Banks” and the professional services these volunteers offer.

About Bob Burk, SCORE Outer Banks Chapter Chair

A resident of Kill Devil Hills, the current chairman of SCORE Outer Banks brings a “triple play” of career experience to the Chapter. He has been involved in non-profit start-ups and management, held a corporate marketing management position and simultaneously was an entrepreneur.

On the non-profit side, he was the Executive Director of the Norwalk Seaport Association and Connecticut’s largest festival. On the corporate side, Burk was the Marketing and Communications Manager for 30 years for King Industries a specialty chemical company in Norwalk Connecticut where he still consults.

As an entrepreneur, he has owned or partnered in a number of small businesses including the New England Brewing Company – Connecticut’s first microbrewery, Shorehaven Inn on Topsail Island and Days of Futures Past Antiques & Collectibles.

Bob’s special expertise is in the field of Special Events and Tradeshow Marketing. He holds Diamond Level Certification in Tradeshow Marketing from Northern Illinois University and Exhibitor Magazine.

In 2013 Bob was one of the first recipients of a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to Exhibit Industry Education and the CTSM (Certified Trade Show Marketer) program of EXHIBITOR and Northern Illinois University.

He served on the faculty of Exhibitor/NIU/San Francisco State University for over a decade and has taught marketing courses for the American Marketing Association.

A resident of the Outer Banks since 2012, Bob when not mentoring for SCORE can be found with his wife Maryhelen traveling across the country in their RV or fishing with the “Colington Casters”, a surf casting fishing team from Colington Harbour.

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