Getting small businesses off the ground
Chamber board hears business incubator idea
Getting a small business up and running is more that hanging up a shingle and preparing for people to knock down the doors. It’s networking, money-management and sales - often to customers who want the convenience of on-line ordering and free shipping.
Still, business officials believe, small business is the backbone of the American economy. How to make the business sector thrive, not just survive, was on the minds of the graduates of Leadership Laurens County Class XXI.
“We were charged with developing a project that impacts the community,” class member Amanda Greer told the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce board last Tuesday. “Laurens County Small Business Development provides a resource and helps businesses succeed.”
“Laurens County is the perfect place to start a business, without the hustle and bustle of city life,” co-presenter Amber Graydon told the Chamber board.
The 21st class of Leadership Laurens County has developed a publication, “Small Business Start-Up Packet 2018-19,” which will be free to anyone interested in a business start-up at the Chamber Welcome Center, at the agency’s office in the Professional Park between Clinton and Laurens.
These are the content areas:
-- Welcome, Opening a Business in Laurens County;
-- Laurens County at a Glance;
-- Business Support Resources;
-- Local Professional + Civic Networks;
-- Business Planning Resources;
-- Capital Resources;
-- Business Compliance/Info + Contacts;
-- General Information; and
-- Important Local Contacts.
The Local Professional and Civic Networks listed in the publication are the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Clubs of Laurens and Clinton, Main Street Laurens and Main Street Clinton, and the Fountain Inn Chamber of Commerce. Business Planning Resources are the US Small Business Administration, South Carolina Business One Stop, the US Internal Revenue Service, and the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers.
The Small Business Administration and the South Carolina Small Business Development Center websites are listed as Capital Resources.
Work on the booklet will continue as more information becomes available, the Chamber board was told. The Chamber is Leadership Laurens County’s sponsoring organization.
The second part of Class XXI’s community project is a Small Business Incubator. This is an idea, not yet a brick-and-mortar reality; however, Graydon said, “Several of use are interested in going forward.”
The incubator would be a physical location where start-up business people could have office space before leasing/buying their own shop. Mentoring and financing advice would be available within the incubator. The idea is to provide time for businesses “to grow” before taking their place in the local economy.
The next step would be a needs analysis, the Chamber board was told.
In addition to the Leadership Class community project, the chamber board’s June 26 agenda included a change in leadership. Brenda Ligon (Precept Staffing) completed her year as board chairman, and John Young (Laurens CPW) will begin his chairmanship in August. Fran Wiley (Piedmont Tech Foundation) in the chair-elect.
Marvin Cartee and Marilyn Easter completed their board service, and the on-coming board members will be Jarvis Reeder and Teresa Willams. The Chamber’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors is composed of 20 members.