Guy Ciarrocchi, president and CEO of the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry, highlighted the value of small businesses to the economy and offered advice on how to boost these businesses in an interview with Keystone Business News.
Question: How important are small businesses to the communities they serve?
Answer: Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. This is where most people work — providing families sustaining jobs. And, this is where many young people get their first jobs. Small businesses are also the keystone of our communities across the region, often providing financial support and volunteers to local causes. And, our Chamber is a small business — with six full-time staff and two part-time staff.
Q: Should more people be interested in building small businesses?
A: If you mean, should more people consider starting their own business… that’s a very personal decision.
If you mean, should policy-makers try to adjust and reduce rules and regulations to make sure there are no undue impediments to entrepreneurs... Yes!
Q: How does a small business leap to a medium-sized or large business?
A: It’s a mix of success and planning — a vision. You also have to be a risk-taker — and, believe in yourself and your team. But, it’s also a personal decision. Some small businesses enjoy the comradery and customer care that is a key part of small business ownership.
Q: What is your advice to would-be entrepreneurs?
A: Do your homework. Make sure you have a business plan, not just a product or service. Then, when you are set; go for it. Believe in yourself and your dream.
Q: Do you offer services that can help small businesses or individuals looking to set up small businesses?
A: We offer several things: an ability to network with fellow start-ups and small businesses; access to funders; and, an ability to tell your story — at events and across our media platforms.
Q: What else can you share about the importance of small businesses?
A: Most of our members are small businesses — in every sector of the economy.
And, on a personal note; small business has a special place in my heart. My dad and my late brother both started their own small businesses. I know how special they are. In small businesses — it's business and it's personal.