How Communities Can Better Support Small Businesses
The House Small Business Committee hosted the hearing to examine how important community support is to cultivating entrepreneurship and small business success. The hearing also explored how a thriving entrepreneurship culture can, in turn, improve communities.
Small businesses can be supported by communities in many different ways. Communities might have training and investments coming from the private-sector or support services and development programs coming from the government. It’s also important to have the right infrastructure and culture already in place.
“Business success is predicated on many factors,” Stephanie Carter, who testified on behalf of the Association of Women’s Business Centers, said during the hearing. “What is undeniable, however, is that those businesses that have a network of support behind them, fare better than those without.”
Carter adds such communities offer more expertise to help businesses as they launch and grow. Additionally, a community that understands and supports the business could help in spotting new opportunities for development. The culture can also create confidence and a drive to be entrepreneurial.
Ara Bagdasarian, who spoke on behalf of the Small Business Development Center, helped to create a framework that communities could adapt intended to foster entrepreneurship and small business growth. He developed it by working with private and public partners while exploring ways to boost development in Leesburg, Virginia.
“The fruits of this effort, I believe, have yielded a model that can be replicated in large and small communities all across America,” Bagdasarian said. “It is with this model, and others like it, that communities suffering from high unemployment or the uprooting of a key industry can plant the seeds of entrepreneurship and cultivate the growth of small businesses."