Stop and think for a moment about the small businesses in your life.
The corner store where you can count on picking up the morning paper and catching up on conversation and where it is especially busy at lunchtime when the crew from the machine shop, the auto body place and the landscaping project show up to grab a sandwich.
The coffee shop where the waitress knows your eggs are over easy and you need extra cream for the coffee.
The dry cleaner, the jeweler, the gift shop … the list goes on. These are the places that give our communities character (and characters) and keep our economies robust.
But behind the cheerful faces we associate with these places we turn to make our lives easier are the challenges of keeping a small business in business.
According to the Small Business Administration, there are about 131,000 small businesses across New Hampshire, representing over 96 percent of all employers and 51 percent of the private sector workforce.
They are the lifeblood of the New Hampshire economy and all throughout next week, they are being celebrated.
Beginning Monday, the Manchester Economic Development Office is hosting the second annual Manchester Small Business Week, which is packed full of programs of interest to those who tend small businesses.
Several of them address one of the biggest concerns of not only of those who turn the sign in the window to ‘open’ every morning, but those men and women looking for just that chance and entrepreneurs, who have the sign but need some help to find the right door to hang it – financing.
The week-long event kicks off at 11:30 a.m. Monday at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center downtown. U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, New York Times reporter Amy Cortese, who wrote Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It and a panel of small business owners – Jeff Baker, president – Image 4; Nick Soggu, founder and CEO of Silvertech; Deb Desrosiers, owner of Visiting Angels and Jim Doyle, president and CEO of XMA Corp. will all provide a lively start to the week.
If you are a small business owner – or would like to become one – check out the comprehensive schedule of events going on throughout the week.