Community Merchants USA Attends The Atlantic’s Small Business Forum

Last month, we attended The Atlantic’s Small Business Forum in Washington, DC. This event featured several presentations and panel discussions, with speakers including small business owners, entrepreneurs and a member of Congress, Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA). The purpose of the event was to discuss the changing landscape of small businesses in the United States, and we were there listening for tips for you.

The speakers at this event covered a lot of ground, but here are the top three takeaways from this event for small business owners:

  1. Don’t be afraid of a little competition. Bill Butcher, founder of Port City Brewing Company, said that he’s glad that other breweries have popped up in his area in recent years. Instead of wanting to dominate the market by being the only producer in town, Butcher said that having multiple breweries in the same city creates a craft beer “scene,” which in turn helps grow the market and bring in more customers. So if your business has competition in your community, don’t run from it, embrace it.
  1. Take advantage of new financing opportunities. Every business owner knows how hard it was to find a loan during and after the 2008 economic crisis. However, as the economy recovers, banks like Bank of America are making an effort to boost their lending to small businesses. Robb Hilson, small business executive at Bank of America, spoke about how his company has seen a huge opportunity to lend to small businesses in recent years. So if you’re looking for financing for your business, now may be a good time.
  1. Be a part of your communities. Nizam Ali is the owner of Ben’s Chili Bowl, a DC institution that has been in business for more than half a century. Ali said that his business works hard to be a good neighbor and to be involved in the community. In turn, he said, the community has supported his business through tough times.

To learn more, or to watch videos of the various speakers, be sure to check out the event’s website. We look forward to attending more events like this one and bringing you the latest information and advice!

Category: Blog

Tags: Business Growth, Small Business