On March 10th, we hosted our largest small business roundtable event to date in Charleston, South Carolina. Business owners from across the region joined representatives from Rep. Joe Cunningham’s office and the local SBA office for a discussion on various small business issues hosted at the COMMUNITY, a female-founded retail collective and community workshop.
The group of attendees, many of whom were in the retail industry, went around the room sharing the stories of their businesses as well as their concerns about what they worry about most when running a business. Many agreed that one of the toughest everyday challenges was simply keeping up with the daily workload. On this point and many others, the group agreed that digital tools and technologies have been critical—as well as cheap and easy to use.
- Project-management tools like Slack, Asana, and Expensify were cited as important ways for participants to increase efficiency and better stay on top of things.
- Social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, along with various digital marketing tools, were noted as being critical for businesses’ ability to engage with current customers and attract new ones
- Visibility-enhancing platforms like Google My Business were cited as another key way for businesses to find new customers as well as manage their online presence
One issue that is worrying many small businesses these days is Coronavirus (check out our post on what small businesses can do to prepare). William Furman from the Charleston SBA office explained how the SBA can help with low-interest, long-term emergency loans for impacted businesses. He gave a presentation on the many other ways the SBA can be a resource for small companies as well, including the various tools and educational videos available on its website.
Want to join in on one of our upcoming roundtable discussions or learn more about what resources are available to small businesses? Consider becoming a 3C member to get access to resources and events in your area.