Starting this week, a new resource is available to small-business owners across the region.

The Small Business Resource Team offers mentorship from a host of professionals across the region to small business owners who are looking for solutions to the problems they encounter in the daily running of their businesses.

“I am passionate about small business,” team co-chairwoman Jessica Norton said. “I love that in Maine you can put a piece of plywood out on the side of the road and have a small business.”

But that enterprising spirit can be dimmed when business owners hit roadblocks that stand in the way of their success, she said.

The team got its start with a little help from Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ross Cunningham.

Cunningham scheduled meetings with the graduates of the 2015 Kennebec Leadership Institute, a four-month intensive leadership training program jointly operated by the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce and the University of Maine at Augusta, to find out how they might want to put what they learned into action.

Helping businesses in the region emerged as a theme, and the idea of the Small Business Resource Team evolved from there.

Norton, who works at Kennebec Savings Bank, co-chairs the team with fellow Kennebec Leadership Institute alum Alison Paine from GHM Insurance. The business partners that make up the team include A2Z Computing, SCORE Business Consulting and United Insurance, among others.

Team members will be able to cover common but sometimes complicated business topics like operations efficiency, legal and insurance questions, how to seek capital, setting up an accounting system, what kind of technology best suits particular enterprises and branding and advertising.

Any business owner who needs advice and mentoring can contact the Chamber of Commerce to be matched with a mentor, who will identify sources of help and track the business owner’s progress.

“We’re not doing the work,” Cunningham said. “But we’re providing the resources and the guidance for these business owners to get a little further along in their businesses.”

The need, he said, is clear. The bulk of the chamber’s estimated 750 members is made up of companies with 10 or fewer employees.

“In the case of small business concerns, they are working in their businesses and not on their businesses,” Cunningham said. “We would like to make their help a little more available.”

While the service is supported by the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce, it’s available to all businesses in the region.

For more information, contact the chamber at 623-4559.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ