Small businesses are a focus in Washington County

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

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The Washington County Community Development Agency (CDA) understands that small, locally-owned businesses are the lifeblood of Washington County. The incredible range of employers, from manufacturing companies and healthcare providers to downtown cafes, local contractors and more, all play a significant role in contributing to the region’s outstanding quality of life. 

As the county’s economic development arm, the CDA Agency works year-round with site selectors, business owners, executives, investors and city leaders to help small businesses operate efficiently in Washington County. This spring is necessary to emphasize these entrepreneurs and business leaders with National Small Business Week.

Small Business Week April 30 - May 6

The first week of May is an excellent time to create awareness for small businesses’ outsized contribution to Washington County. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has historically held its National Small Business Week in the first week of May each year, creating opportunities for national awareness and promoting small businesses locally.

Small business importance

In its 2022 Small Business Profile, the SBA Office of Advocacy indicated that 61.7 million employees, or 46.4% of the entire U.S. workforce, worked for small businesses. The Minnesota Profile demonstrates 1.3 million employees, 46% of the state's workforce, at 534,397 small businesses, 99.4% of the state's total.

The American Independent Business Alliance reports that independent locally-owned businesses recirculate 48% of their revenue locally compared to 13% by chain businesses. That increased local spending creates more local wealth and jobs because locally-owned businesses will typically buy from other locally-owned businesses, creating jobs in the process.

The CDA supports small businesses.

The CDA offers comprehensive services, resources and networking opportunities designed to help small businesses reduce their bottlenecks and operate efficiently. Two of the most significant are SizeUp and Open To Business.

SizeUp is the ultimate competitive advantage Washington County’s small businesses can utilize to optimize their productivity. SizeUp is a free, powerful tool small companies can use to benchmark and rank their performance against industry competitors. SizeUp brings the power of big data to Washington County’s small business community, leveling the competitive playing field by providing local businesses with easily understandable market research based on big data, algorithm-based analysis and super-computing. 

SizeUp helps small businesses obtain the same vital insights corporations gain through data collection by expensive management consultants and research analysts. Businesses can plan for success by utilizing SizeUp to venture into new opportunities by:

  • Comparing business performance to industry competitors across multiple performance indicators to create a benchmark through a comprehensive analysis encompassing millions of data points. 
  • Discovering potential customers, suppliers and competitors through regional mapping techniques.
  • Determining optimal targeted advertising based on industry and demographic characteristics of the ideal customer.

Get instant access today on the CDA website. Enter an industry and city and then drill down deeper with specific competitors, advertising and demographic information to learn about the potential awaiting in Washington County.

Open to Business is a business consulting program of the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers that partners with cities and counties to make its services available to entrepreneurs and small businesses. Advisor Tyler Hilsabeck is the Open to Business resource for Washington County businesses to gain free guidance on available financial assistance and one-on-one business advice. Hilsabeck can assist entrepreneurs in identifying borrowing requirements and accessing financing options that best meet their unique needs, like working capital, asset purchases, real estate acquisition and start-up costs.

Advising and technical assistance topics include strategic business planning, marketing, financial assessment, training in various accounting areas and more.

Join us in celebrating National Small Business Week.

You can help celebrate National Small Business Week in several ways, including:

  • Visit your favorite small businesses and let them know how much you enjoy having them in the community. Small business owners work hard, sometimes without much time off, so a word of encouragement is always welcome!
  • Go out to eat one extra time, buy something special from a friend or for the house or purchase a product or service from someone locally instead of online.
  • Write reviews on Facebook, Google or Yelp for each small business that has provided you with excellent customer service. People read testimonials when making purchasing decisions or even when deciding where to grab lunch. Your positive review could help them earn more business and doesn’t cost you anything!

Thank you to all of Washington County’s small businesses. We appreciate you, are glad you’ve made Washington County home and are here to help with whatever you need.

Category: News