HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — An effort to help small businesses in Harrisburg is getting bigger and bolder to set local entrepreneurs for success.

For the second year, the Capital Region Multi-Cultural Small Business Lab is working to help local businesses grow.

“I think one of the things that was really valuable last year was also the cohort that folks had a chance to get to know each other and help each other. That networking and the confidence, that’s huge,” said Nora Habig, Pennsylvania regional president for M&T Bank.

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This year, the small business lab is offering a seven-week program and is accepting more applicants than last year. Participants will meet two days every week from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. from May 12 through June 23.

“The folks that came to the program and went through it, and they were so engaged. They loved it and they did a great job showing up every single day once a week for the seven or eight weeks and they really, really, got value out of it,” Habig said.

The classes offered this year cover finiancial litteracy, marketing strategies, and branding arrangement. For local business owner Joseph Evans-Carter, the classes are a great opportunity

“I think it’s very beneficial to a local business owner. For one is because every business owner has struggles that they’re going through with something that they’re trying to achieve, and most of the time they’re connected to people that are only looking at them as a dollar sign,” Evans-Carter said.

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Applications are currently open, and everyone is encouraged to apply.

“It feels like the best thing in the whole entire world because we are always looking for people to connect with, right? And we try and do it on our own and they have something right here for us to connect with each other. And they’re going to help us do that and they’re doing it from a place of love,” Evans-Carter added.