Small Business & Entrepreneurship
Webster is fortunate to have two large and active business support organizations that represent small business in the broader community. With a combined membership of over 640 businesses, the Chamber of Commerce and Business Improvement District provide business-to-business networking opportunities, small business development programming, joint marketing assistance and many other benefits to its members. As well, the Business Improvement District organizes several community events throughout the year that draw approximately 30,000 visitors into the Village for concerts, festivals, movies and parades.
Webster boasts a breadth of established and successful small business owners – greater than 1/3 of Chamber members have been in business for longer than 10 years. The Chamber of Commerce regularly celebrates the longevity of its members,with many small business owners crediting their membership in the Chamber and the mentorship of other business owners as key to their success. However, no formal mentorship and/or startup business support programs are currently offered in the community. The need for mentorship of new businesses by existing businesses is supported by the following data collected by the U.S. Small Business Administration: 70% of small businesses are owned and operated by a single person; and• 70% of small businesses survive 2 years, only 50% survive 5-years.
Running a successful business requires several skills-sets, yet most entrepreneurs lack the knowledge, capacity and resources to survive longer than 5 years. Most startup business owners are simply not aware of the complexities and requirements of operating a business. This is where mentorship can play an important role, providing tools, guidance and reassurance to place (and keep) new business owners on the path for success.