A well-known training program focused on turning businesses into a “consumer destination” will be offered free to 40 businesses in Philomath and eight other rural communities in Benton and Linn counties through funding from Business Oregon and a partnership between the Rural Economic Alliance and RAIN Catalysts, organizers announced.

Jon Schallert’s Destination Creation course will be offered on Mondays and Tuesdays from May 1-23 with virtual Zoom sessions from 7-8:30 p.m. For those interested, applications can be submitted online.

The eight course topics include: “Becoming a Destination Business,” “Your Unique Positioning,” “Your Leadership Responsibility,” “Targeting Your Most-Profitable Customers,” “Capturing Consumer and Media Attention,” “Creating a Customer-Focused,” “Marketing Your Destination Business” and “Collective Marketing.”

Along with Philomath, other Benton and Linn county businesses eligible to participate in the program are those in Adair Village, Brownsville, Halsey, Harrisburg, Lebanon, Monroe, Sweet Home and Tangent.

Schallert, a business consultant, takes course enrollees through a process that examines how a business elevates its unique qualities that a targeted customer finds most important.

Last month, RAIN (Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network) Catalysts hosted a Destination Creation course for entrepreneurs, startups and small business owners in Skagit and Island counties in Washington.

“This course gave me so many great detailed and concrete ideas for creative marketing for my business,” Megan Casad, owner of Pegasus Pie Co., said through a press release. “As a new business owner, I also found it very inspiring and a great opportunity to network.”

For those with questions, contact Nate Conry at nate@raincatalysts.org.