Why are small businesses important to local communities on multiple levels?
Small businesses help bring separate silos of communities together. A local restaurant, bar, even a grocery store becomes a home away from home. For example, customers and business staff begin to search for others, who are always there on a certain day. New friends share joys and concerns and sometimes seek solutions together, all becoming a more cohesive community.
How has ChiBizHub helped to grow your footprint among business owners and entrepreneurs?
The Rogers Park Chamber of Commerce anticipates working with ChiBizHub to help our entrepreneurs grow and succeed. We now have more tools with ChiBizHub's large network of nonprofit service providers to add to institutions with which we already work, such as Accion Chicago and BACP, to access start-up resources and other business-building services for small businesses. ChiBizHub's help in linking the Chamber with these other resource organizations and with the Chamber's established and new small businesses, will greatly bolster our business community.
In your opinion, what are the immediate and long-term challenges for entrepreneurs that you see? Can you provide an example based on your experience?
The immediate challenge for entrepreneurs is almost always startup cash to pay for rent, remodeling, equipment, and supplies. No matter how talented the entrepreneur, the person must often rely on friends and less-than-ideal support to start the business. Long-term challenges include dealing with service providers such as billing and service problems with payment processors or waste management providers and with business slowdowns.
We have several restaurant owners whom we helped with service providers. For example, Trudy spent at least 24 hours helping a business owner get hundreds of dollars in refunds and fee reversals.
What does your organization do to support Small Business Saturday?
The Rogers Park Chamber of Commerce does intense social media promotions, word-of-mouth promotion with friends, the community, and we visit the featured businesses with Small Business Saturday swag for customers and for the businesses.
How long has your organization participated in Small Business Saturday?
The Rogers Park Chamber of Commerce has supported Small Business Saturday for 10 years. We became an official Small Business Saturday Shop Small Business Champion in 2018.
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