Charlene Spencer with Central Texas College’s Students In Free Enterprise, now known as Enactus, paints several vents in November at Fins and Flowers, now known as Out of the Cage Pet Shop, in Copperas Cove. The group helped out the store. It is looking for another local business to help.

Central Texas College’s Enactus organization is looking for a local small-business owner to help out, thanks to a grant from Sam’s Club.

A statement from the college Wednesday afternoon said the group, formerly known as Students In Free Enterprise, is looking to lend a hand to a female-owned, small business that has been in operation for one to three years and is currently experiencing a loss in profit.

The project is funded by the Sam’s Club Step Up for Small Business Project Partnership, and will allow Enactus members to work with the chosen business on skills such as marketing, pricing and finances.

“Our goal is to help a struggling small business grow and become a profitable entity in the community,” said Chastity Clemons, the college’s Enactus sponsor and business administration professor. “We are offering free assistance to help such a business reduce expenses, possibly add new products, and solidify and expand its customer base to help ensure its success over the long haul.”

For businesses who fall within the criteria , the deadline for consideration is Wednesday.

This won’t be the first time Enactus has tried to assist a struggling local business. Last year, the group provided assistance to Out of the Cage Pet Shop in Copperas Cove. Enactus members helped the owner create a new business and marketing plan, provided customer service training, aided in a store remodel, provided assistance with advertising and updated the store’s inventory tracking system among other improvements.

Out of the Cage owner Amanda Vaughn said Wednesday that even though she expects her store to close in the next few months, she was still happy with the job Enactus did.

“They were very helpful, and I think they did an awesome job,” Vaughn said. “We get about 100 people coming through the doors each day, but many of them are there to just look at the exotic animals, and not to buy.”

Trying to run a successful small business isn’t easy, Clemons said, especially in an area close to a military base, where the population fluctuates rapidly.

“The audience for small businesses is constantly changing, and that can be challenging,” she said.

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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