March 24, 2017
The week of April 30-May 6, 2017 is National Small Business Week. The City of Portsmouth, the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce and the local business assistance community will kick off a week of activities with a Proclamation by Mayor Blalock at the May 1st City Council meeting officially designating the week as “Small Business Week in Portsmouth.”
Sponsored locally by Optima Bank & Trust and working with local and state organizations supportive of small business, the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce and the City Economic Development Office developed a week-long calendar of events for small businesses to learn more about the resources available to them. Valerie Rochon, President of the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, shared “There are many organizations working to help our local small business community but often the entrepreneurs struggle to get connected with the right resources. We hope that this week can be the start of ongoing greater connections between the business community and the resources here to help them.”
The calendar includes events such as the Alpha Loft Start-up Mornings, seminars on small business email marketing and small business finance by SCORE, the nonprofit organization that provides free business mentoring services to entrepreneurs in the United States. Also on tap is an opportunity to learn about the educational resources available at UNH and Great Bay Community College and about the State of NH workforce training grants available for employee development. There will be a drop-in session with representatives of the Seacoast Region Small Business Development Center and the City’s Economic Development Manager to learn about free business counseling options available at City Hall and the public library as well as other state resources and programs for business.
On Thursday evening, there will be a brand launch party for Portsmouth’s West End, an organization of primarily independently-owned businesses working jointly to promote the area. The calendar can be viewed on the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce’s website http://portsmouthchamber.org and the City of Portsmouth Economic Development webpage http://cityofportsmouth.com/economic/ . The Calendar will also be posted at the Public Library and City Hall public bulletin boards
The federal government Small Business Administration defines small businesses as “one that is independently owned and operated, is organized for profit, and is not dominant in its field. Depending on the industry, size standard is based on the average number of employees for the previous year or on sales volume averaged over a 3-year period.”
According to Nancy Carmer, The City of Portsmouth Economic Development Manager, “Portsmouth’s economy consists primarily of small businesses. Ninety percent of the roughly 1800 businesses in Portsmouth employ less than 50 workers and 42% have less than five so it is important to the City’s overall economic vitality to have resources available to support and sustain these small independent firms as they emerge and grow.”