This is an easy idea for small town economic developers, chambers of commerce, banks and all the people who care about their small towns.
It’s pretty common to hear people say something like, “There’s no new businesses in our town!”
That’s because they aren’t remembering all the new business activity or they maybe aren’t paying attention. Or maybe they’re only thinking of big new employers, the kind that come with visiting dignitaries for the announcement.
Most small towns don’t have many of those big announcement type employers, but I’m betting you have a lot more small business activity than folks realize.
My colleague Deb Brown has a great answer. When she started working at the chamber of commerce, she started a list of every new business that opened. She’s no longer at the chamber, but she still keeps that list.
Just answered a question from a local in town – what new businesses have come to town since 2014. I keep a list for when people tell me new businesses are not coming. Are you tracking the new businesses in your town? I think you’d be surprised how many there are!
Some of the new businesses are hard to see because they’re based in someone’s home or they are a traveling business. Add those to the list, too.
Look for businesses inside another business. Sometimes these open without anyone noticing them. Pay attention to local craft businesses that may only have a few items on sale inside a local store. Those are still businesses.
What are the last 5 businesses, including tiny businesses, to open in your town? Share in the comments!
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.