Connecting Small Businesses with their Communities
WASHINGTON – Today, Members of the Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations heard from a panel of experts on entrepreneurial development and the interdependent relationship between a community and small businesses.
“With 29.6 million small businesses employing 47.8 percent of the workforce, small business success is essential to the economic well-being of both individual communities throughout the country as well as our nation overall. While there are many factors that contribute to the success of a small business, one factor that is often overlooked is the community-small business relationship,” said Subcommittee Chairman Trent Kelly (R-MS).
The Community-Small Business Relationship
At the hearing, the panel agreed that while the programs provided by the Small Business Administration are critically important, just as important is the entrepreneurial environment of the local economy. When coupled together, not only will small businesses prosper, the whole community will.
“I believe that building the infrastructure to support the development of entrepreneurship is well within the means of every community in America - be it large or small,” stated Mr. Ara Bagdasarian, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Office of Omnilert, LLC, in Leesburg, VA, testifying on behalf of America’s SBDC’s. “Once this framework is built, an entrepreneurial ecosystem will develop and flourish incrementally.”
“Our innovative work provides a critical piece of Cincinnati’s startup ecosystem, showing what’s possible when people work together towards a common goal…. Every day, MORTAR shows Cincinnatians and other communities what’s possible when you invest in previously underestimated entrepreneurs,” said Mr. Derrick Braziel, Founding Partner and Managing Director of MORTAR, in Cincinnati, OH, testifying on behalf of SCORE.
“…[A] strong community helps identify new opportunities. Every business, whether five minutes or five generations old, is seeking new opportunities. A community that understands your business and its offerings is incredibly helpful in spotlighting business development,” stated Ms. Stephanie Carter, President of SCB Management Consulting in Upper Marlboro, MD, testifying on behalf of the Association of Women’s Business Centers.