Students at the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics at California State University – Northridge are forming teams to assist small businesses dealing with the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.

The undergraduate and MBA students are members of the Nazarian College Small Business Consulting Program, which has received $50,000 from the Wells Fargo Foundation to increase the number of students and faculty available to assist small businesses in the San Fernando Valley.

Kristen Walker, director of the MBA consulting program and a marketing professor at CSUN, said the program’s goal has always been to help local businesses develop plans for success.

“In the light of the decimation of small businesses by the COVID-19 pandemic, we realized that we need to focus our resources for the coming year on helping the businesses in the Valley overcome whatever challenges they are facing and get them back on the path to success,” Walker said in a statement.

Students will begin working virtually with clients next month to discuss client goals, finances and determine the scope of the work. Following the initial interview, students will delve into the challenges identified by the business owners and develop solutions.

To be eligible, businesses must have annual revenue of at least $100,000 and at least two years of financial statements to share with the student consultants.

Many of the students, particularly those in the MBA program who are also business professionals, have had first-hand experience with the challenges faced by small businesses, Walker said.

“This has never been more true than during the COVID-19 crisis, as students are working with their employers and families to save their livelihoods,” she added in her statement.