Small Business Week Celebrates Entrepreneurs

Celebrating Small Business Week: Meet business owner Vince ...
Celebrating Small Business Week: Meet business owner Vince ...

Small business is the basis of the national economy. National Small Business Week, held May 2-5, highlighted the resilience and determination of American entrepreneurs and their ability to drive the economic transformation of COVID.

The Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center honors and awards local small businesses during Pikes Peak Small Business Week June 4-8. Pikes Peak SBDC and co-sponsor, Southern Colorado Better Business Bureau, hold an annual business party and awards ceremony with free presentations to support and educate small business owners. The Business Journal is the media sponsor.

Ekta Markol, managing director of Pike Peak SBDC, said that in the coming year small businesses will face both challenges and opportunities.

“Companies have the power to make real changes in our societies,” Markol said. “Now is the time to recognize the change in consumer behavior; now is the time to realize that traditional marketing has changed; now is the time to understand that a focused leader not only helps your organization grow but also helps your employees become part of something important.

During the pandemic years, the number of target consumers has also increased – consumers drawn to sustainable businesses have focused on giving back to society rather than profit.

“The pandemic has put the target buyer above the value-oriented buyer,” said Paul Myers-Bennett, vice president of marketing and operations for BBB in Southern Colorado. "With the development of capitalism, companies must change to meet the needs of consumers."

Many small businesses are still struggling with the pandemic.

Colorado Chief Executive Lindsey Wigoda said a small business majority advocacy group conducted a nationwide survey in December that found small businesses are grappling with issues such as the coronavirus, health, inflation, supply chain problems and staff shortages.

"Small businesses want health care to be more affordable and available," he said. “Covid catalytic financing should really be a priority for small businesses, and things like access to child care are always a challenge. They need help and they need to join our communities.”

A new survey, the results of which will be published in the coming weeks, shows that companies are concerned about supply chain problems and the overall mitigation of the pandemic.

37 percent of respondents said their business is in decline, and 29 percent said their business is stable, Fegoda said.

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"Only a quarter of the respondents said that they do not experience problems with supply chains," he said.

But Vigoda is also seeing an increase in awareness and support for local small businesses.

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“Business has an opportunity to truly change the situation in our societies.”

Ekta Marcoli.

"People really want to help small businesses, whether that's our MPs, city council members or the local level," he said. “It is very good to live in a time when people are ready for it.

“Our company is ready to support these efforts like never before, and I believe that the impact of these opportunities will increase tenfold in the coming years,” he said.

All of these topics will be covered through celebrations and presentations during Pike Peak Small Business Week.

Small business treasures

During Small Business Week, executives and entrepreneurs can attend free seminars on modern marketing and leadership—two of the biggest challenges facing small businesses.

The workshops, which Markol said would be "content-packed," were chosen because they matched opportunities for growth, consumer behaviour, employment and retention.

“The past two years have changed our business forever,” Marsol said. "Without normal consumer traffic, companies will have to learn and continue to learn and apply the latest marketing techniques to encourage consumers to buy their products and services."

How does the company tell its story? How is a marketing strategy developed to attract advanced customers during a pandemic?

Marketing is the topic of a free presentation on Monday, June 6, where businesses can learn about current marketing trends, content creation, and future marketing innovations.

The presentation on June 7 will focus on another business issue: the changing role of business leaders.

“The past two years have changed the look of the workplace dramatically,” Markol said. “Our employees want to be part of the management team that helps manage change, improve employee mental health and promote work-life balance.”

social purpose

Markol said companies have many opportunities to grow, but only if they recognize and adapt to the changes caused by the pandemic.

“Consumers buy based on an emotional connection to the company, as well as when the company has a higher purpose,” he said.

Myers-Bennett Focus Shopping is driven by young consumers – members of Millennials and Generation Z.

“Before the pandemic, social impact and target consumer growth increased, but the price of goods played a bigger role than where they came from or brand reputation,” he said.

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According to a recent IBM study and other studies, this has changed. Encouraging consumers who search for products, brands and companies that match their values ​​are now the largest consumer segment at 44%.

Also, at a time when it is very difficult to recruit or retain good talent, target companies are more likely to recruit and retain talent,” he said. "About 65% of employees in the United States want to work for a socially responsible company, and Colorado Springs, if not more, is basically all of that," he said. We're actually part of the social impact movement in the United States.

Myers-Bennett noted that the National Institute for Social Impact was founded by Jonathan Lippert, CEO and CEO of BBB Southern Colorado, "and we have a lot of brands growing in Colorado Springs."

The Conscious Business Guide lists the 84 Pikes Peak companies that have received BBB4Good certification from the International BBB Association. The list you can find on Bbb.org is based on 17 criteria related to sustainability and social purpose.

Myers-Bennett said a special button will appear soon where people will be able to use the filter to find only businesses that have been mapped.

He said that young entrepreneurs are increasingly incorporating social concerns into their business models, and the National Institute for Social Impact and the BBB are also receiving inquiries from companies set up to help with organic change.

“They appeal to customers, from car dealerships to florists, and they ask for help to adapt it to their business models,” he said.

Small Business Week

Small Business Leaders are invited to visit the full schedule of Small Business Week at pikespeaksbdc.org.

The week begins on Saturday, June 4, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a work party and award ceremony at Red Leg Brewing Company, 2323 Garden of the Gods Road.

This family event includes themed areas such as dining, music, activities, lawn games, sports, entertainment, tourism, business resources, and small arts and crafts.

The event awards five companies and business leaders with the following prizes:

• Small Business Award of the Year

Small Business Champion of the Year

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• Veterans Campaign of the Year.

• Family Business of the Year

• Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Entry to the event costs $25 or $125 for VIP tickets, which include additional perks such as free round-trip beer, a souvenir mug, and a T-shirt.

Monday 6 June 221 E-Kiwa Street

The workshop will cover marketing strategies, including:

• Emotional campaigns

• Video content and live broadcasts

• Sustainability, social impact, climate change, etc.

• Create content

• Keywords to increase website traffic

• Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

• Internet Security

• Including representation in marketing.

Modern Leadership Workshop at City Hall on Tuesday 7th June from 9am to 11pm.

Today's leaders spend their time on team members' well-being, career goals, contributions and accomplishments.

Areas of discussion include:

• Communicate with a Purpose: Provides “why” information so that employees understand how and why their work sets a higher goal for the organization or team.

• Performance: Explain clearly and regularly what success looks like. Determining work by results, not by assignments.

• Joining: sharing a wide range of information, creating teamwork and a sense of inclusion to encourage collaboration and encourage employees to help each other succeed.

Marculier, who will join the US Small Business Administration on May 23 as a regional officer for the 8th SBA in Denver, will return with a presentation on the state of small business at the closing event of Small Business Week.

Marculle and Libert will discuss small business challenges and opportunities, as well as future prospects for small businesses in the Pike Peak area.

You will learn what is happening in the small business sector and what to expect from high prices, labor shortages and a weak supply chain.

The workshop will also focus on a new generation of business owners called social entrepreneurs who use business to solve social and environmental problems and generate profit.

SBDC and BBB leaders will also inform the public of the impact of their services on the Pike Peak area.

All master classes are free for participants, but the number of places is limited and registration is required.

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For more information or to register for Business Day and one of the award ceremonies or seminars, visit pikespeaksbdc.org/small-business-week.

Minister Doug Schweitzer celebrates Small Business Week

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