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Local Resources to Help Grow Your Business

As a small business owner, you appreciate the importance of attracting new customers and growing your business. And while having a good online presence plays a vital role in this endeavor, being active in your community can also give you a substantial boost. Here are some local resources you can tap into:

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  • Your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC). SBDCs provide a range of free consulting and low-cost educational services to help you grow your business. Some of the services they provide include business plan development, financial advice and lending assistance, market research assistance and manufacturing assistance.
  • A SCORE business mentor. SCORE business mentors are volunteer business counselors who provide free business advice. Since these professionals have extensive industry experience, as well as local knowledge and connections, their support can be invaluable. You can connect with a mentor online, via online workshops or by making an appointment for an in-person meeting.
  • Partnerships with other businesses. As Inc. advises, forming partnerships with other businesses can be mutually beneficial. For example, offer referral fees or services to each other's customers.
  • Local industry associations. Local or regional industry associations offer industry-specific educational resources, networking events and other opportunities that can help you expand your business.
  • Local conferences, conventions and trade shows. Having a presence at local conferences and conventions can help you attract more customers. You can also meet other business owners that you can form partnerships with.
  • Community events and charities. Sponsoring local festivals, competitions and charities is a good way to gain more positive attention in your community.
  • Partnerships with nearby schools and community colleges. Offering apprenticeships and internships to students at local educational institutions can help you get more exposure while at the same time providing you with a pipeline of promising talent for your workforce.

Connecting with local residents and businesses shows your community that you have an interest in helping the area thrive economically. This commitment can help you attract more customers, and as a result, keep expanding your business for the long term. That's why for companies — and especially small businesses — having a positive community presence is a requisite for success.

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