Chapin small business “boot camp” yields nuggets of wisdom

Chapin Small Business Boot Camp, Wednesday.(Sandy Coots Photos)

On a mission to fulfill one of its goals for 2017, the Town of Chapin hosted a Small Business Boot Camp earlier this week.

“We value our small business in the community and the town is working to try to help by providing a series of workshops to help facilitate the advancement of our small business owners,” explained Karen Owens, Chapin’s Director of Communications and Economic Development.

“Our goal is to offer one of these workshops a quarter, to not only expose them to the different resources in the community, but also the process for locating a business here in the town of Chapin.”

More than a dozen people attended the event held at the Chapin Town Hall, and in conjunction with the South Carolina Small Business Development Center.

The workshop began with a panel discussion that included a variety of experts. There was an attorney, a bookkeeper/CPA, a bank representative as well as other funding specialists. There also was a human resources expert.
Attendees had the opportunity to ask the experts questions about starting, or operating, a business.
And some people attending were ready to start a new business.

“When I got out of the military, they introduced me to the Small Business Association as a resource to use for information; to help you out getting started for loans, for advice. And it sounded like this was a part of that,” said Will Smith who lives in Chapin.
“I’m hoping just to be a sponge and absorb whatever they got to tell me.”

“I’m new to the business field,” said Lauran Loftley. “Someone like me would need to know all the ins and outs for starting everything as far as healthcare, taxes, forms to fill out, information is very important so you don’t have any holes along the way.”
Others were current business owners simply looking to learn more.”

Chapin Small Business attendees. 

“I’m always willing to learn new stuff that I can implement in my business,” Jeanette Dempsey said. “I thought I could come and find out some information and I’m sure it will be beneficial to me regardless of whether it’s a big impact or small.”

Small business has a substantial impact on the economy. And that sentiment was voiced at the meeting.

“The small business owner is the one who is basically putting it all out there everyday. And they can live or die on very small margins and they need all the help they can get,” said Braxton Sorg with Harbour View Capital.

“We are the doers. We are the people on the street making things happen,” said Matt Vaadi of ERG Payroll and HR said.

Both Vaadi and Sorg shared a couple key nuggets for success when starting or running a business.
“Don’t be afraid of carrying a little debt,” Sorg said.

“Your employees are your number one asset and they can also be your number one liability. So you need to treat them and manage that asset as such and make sure it doesn’t become a liability,” Vaadi said.