‘It truly takes a village’: Small businesses can win by supporting each other

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  • There is a lot of room for small businesses to win.
  • Supporting other small businesses is important for small business owners to succeed.
  • That support among entrepreneurs can come in a variety of forms.

When you think of businesses in one place, you think of competition, right? Business, whatever the type, is often competitive. But mutual uplift is important for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

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To this end, Amy D’Alessio devotes about an hour of her day to promoting small businesses in Essex, Connecticut, where she meets J.J. on Main Street. Alden owns a clothing store called Women’s, which is owned by her husband’s J.J. Alden lives in a shared space with the clothiers. ,

D’Alessio serves as chairman of the Essex Board of Trade, an organization she says comprises 100 small businesses in the city, and tells USA Today that small businesses are more powerful as a group — Part of why she spends so much time raising others.

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“It’s this idea of ​​community that makes us stand head and shoulders above the big-box store,” D’Alessio said.

When it comes to support, it doesn’t matter if it’s coming from businesses in the same location.

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“It really takes a village and supporting other small businesses doesn’t take away from your own business,” said Sahra Nguyen, founder of Brooklyn-based. Nguyen Coffee Supply, a specialty Vietnamese coffee brand.

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John Childress, president of Childress Business Consulting, who often advises early-stage entrepreneurs, echoed Nguyen’s point of view.

“Since most small businesses don’t have the resources to do everything on their own, they often rely on other small businesses for help and/or collaboration,” Childress said.

But promoting each other’s brands is something that has become more prevalent in recent years, Childress continued, noting that the trend isn’t just because of challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Today’s new entrepreneur ‘Wall Street’ Gordon Gecko is not the ‘Greed is good’ mentality that most entrepreneurs were raised in decades ago,” Childress said. “Most entrepreneurs today care about more than the bottom line; They want to make money while helping the community and the environment, not harming it.”

Business Development Community CEO Terry Maxwell shift/co, agreed: For small businesses, making money and doing well “are not at odds as in most corporations.”

Small Business Community Promotes More Than Business Success

It goes beyond financial success, however, according to Gwen Belotti, owner of the Gwen Belotti Collection, who said it is part of her business’s “mission” to support others.

Belotti said, “(There’s) nothing like being able to connect with someone who speaks your language and knows what you’re going through, how to support you and can share their own experiences that Let’s talk to you.”

Small business owner Gwen Belotti shows off her jewelry collection in New York City.

The girl agreed. “It’s also a great mental health aid,” he said. “Having someone who is following the same journey as you and experiencing the same ups and downs is extremely helpful. Instead of walking this road alone, you are with a community.”

Social media, word of mouth, the dollar: Small business peers support different ways

The term “support” can encompass a range of activities. “We support each other’s events, products and services,” Childress said.

For Nguyen, some of that support happens on a daily basis, often in three forms.

“I like to uplift and expand on social media as much as I can,” Nguyen said. “A stock is simple and can go a long way for businesses.”

She also recommends other small businesses during conversations when opportunities arise, saying that when she holds meetings with the media, she tries to bring new connections to her friends’ shops and restaurants in the New York City area.

Meeting her holy grail of support, and “most important” Nguyen likes to support with her dollars.

D’Alessio takes a similar step, shopping local and using social media “to support and raise my small business community on a daily basis.”

Collaboration is another way entrepreneurs can work together to boost business, Belotti said, adding that “your net worth is your network.”

And sometimes, support simply means strengthening another entrepreneur’s network with its own members.

“Most of us who have been in business for many years have built relationships with people in many fields and professions,” Childress said. “That means if a fellow entrepreneur comes to me with a need, I can generally recommend someone I know is good enough to help.”

Lots of small businesses have room to ‘win’

While competition in business can be intense, in general, there is a lot of room for success for small businesses.

But achieving that can be tough, and understanding how challenging it can be, Nguyen said, adding that she loves being part of a small business community.

Nguyen said, “It gives me immense pleasure to see others follow their dreams and it is an honor to witness someone’s journey.” “I love seeing good people doing good work. We need to uplift, protect, and celebrate our people while opening up possibilities for others.”

D’Alessio said that nothing takes away from your business to support another — doing so only adds value.

Maxwell said, beyond having a place for everyone, “most conscious small business enterprises operate with the values ​​of collaboration, versus worrying about competition.”

And according to Childress, in some cases, building relationships are more rewarding than traditional marketing.

“It is one of the best tools for long-term growth for your company. An engaging sales campaign gives you a short-term boost,” he said. “Building significant relationships with other businesses, customers, and communities will drive long-term growth.”

Small businesses hit by ‘storm’ wreaking havoc

Between 2020 and 2021, small businesses have faced several “storms” as childdress call events put owners in difficult situations, includingCOVID-19 pandemic, supply chain havoc and more.

“We are experiencing incredibly difficult times with exponential rate growth in shipping due to supply chain issues,” Nguyen said. “Some small businesses will choose to raise prices, and some will choose to eat the cost. Either way, I ask customers to keep this in mind as they are shopping this season, and please support small businesses. Because there’s a lot of hustle and bustle every day to move things along.”

Sahra Nguyen, founder of Nguyen Coffee Supply

And when those challenges are met, larger companies are more likely to receive government aid, according to Childress.

Small Businesses Aren’t AlwaysGet the same kind of help.

“Big companies often get a lot of real government support. They get bailouts worth billions of dollars. When the government actually creates programs to help small businesses, most of the aid ends up in the hands of the big, wealthy corporations, “They said. payroll protection program,

The Small Business Community Is Resilient

While the small business sector may not have as many resources as its larger counterparts, it is resilient for a number of reasons.

“While we lack the resources that larger businesses like Box Store may have, we are more than willing to support each other in many other ways,” Nguyen said.

And D’Alessio believes there will never be a replacement for small businesses. “Big-box stores exist for a reason and they are essential, but they will never compare to the small business shopping experience.”

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