With Small Business Saturday (the Saturday after Thanksgiving) just a few days away, everyone will be supporting small businesses by patronizing those local merchants and shops, but I wanted to bring attention to a couple of organizations that work behind the scenes to support those same businesses every day of the year.
When you consider that roughly two out of every three net new jobs is created in these small businesses and roughly half of our friends and neighbors work there, supporting local business owners makes a lot of sense at many levels.
In addition to consumers supporting small businesses at the cash register, there are two excellent organizations that do a tremendous job of helping small businesses behind the scenes. SCORE is a group of volunteers who provide mentoring and education to small business owners all across the country. This cadre of volunteer business people speaks from real-world experience when they offer advice to the business owners in their community.
“If you know the names Vera Bradley, Jelly Belly, Allen Edmonds shoes, or Raising Cain’s, you know some of the great American companies that got their start working with a SCORE mentor, “ says David R. Bobbitt, president of The SCORE Foundation.
It doesn’t matter if your business is a startup, or you have a few years under your belt, SCORE volunteers can help you with anything from building a marketing plan, navigating the ins-and-outs of working with government contractors, or preparing for a small business loan. OnDeck’s national support of SCORE has allowed me to see first hand the dedication and willingness of these business leaders to give back to their communities, as well as for me to hear about many of their success stories.