COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The Columbus and Phenix City chapter of SCORE, an organization that helps small business owners, is in urgent need of new volunteers to meet growing demands for its services.

According to Marv Lieberman, chairman of the local SCORE chapter, there are four categories of SCORE volunteers — people who do one-on-one mentoring, people who do workshops, subject matter experts, and some chapters have volunteers who do support work such as administrative work. The local SCORE chapter mainly needs one-on-one mentors.

“We have about, on paper, 25 volunteers in our chapter,” he said. “But on any given week, only 10 are available. Most of these people still have their own jobs, businesses, etc. And we get about 30 requests a week. So there’s really no limit to the number of volunteers we could accept.”

According to SCORE, training and onboarding with the organization varies depending on what volunteer positions people choose. Volunteers are guided by coaches as they learn the ropes of their new positions.

Lieberman has been the chapter chair for four years and said his chapter has always needed more volunteers than it had.

“So what happens is we have to ask some of our existing volunteers to take on more than their fair share of clients,” he said. “Or in some instances, we even have to go to some of our larger chapters like North Metro Atlanta, who has over 100 volunteers, and say, ‘Hey, can you take a few clients for us this week?’”

Now that most SCORE mentoring is done remotely using platforms such as Zoom, Lieberman said the locations of mentors aren’t as important as they used to be. However, he said the local chapter shares a physical location with StartUP Columbus on the corner of Front Avenue and Twelfth Street.

“We’d like to have at least 25 volunteers on any given week that could take on new clients,” he said.

Lieberman said there was a significant increase in people starting businesses nationwide during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with it came a significant increase in people requesting mentoring from SCORE. Lieberman said the requests are now back to historical levels.

SCORE describes itself as “the largest network of volunteer business professionals helping the U.S. small business network with one-on-one mentoring, workshops and many other resources focused on small businesses.”

To become a SCORE volunteer, complete a volunteer application at https://www.score.org/volunteer. SCORE will ask you to participate in a video interview. You can also email your local chapter chair at marv.lieberman@scorevolunteer.org.