Small Business Week in Columbia

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By Crandall Sims

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- Monday afternoon Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin read a proclamation declaring this week as Small Business Week in Columbia.

"The vast amount of jobs that we create in this community come from small businesses," says Lee Bussell

Crandall Sims reporting,"In Richland County alone there are more than 14,500 small businesses, including these on Devine Street like Pink Sorbet."

"I think it kind of provides a distinct community feel because people, they cluster where there's unique shops and ecclectic little boutiques and restaurants," says Sara Beth Rush of Pink Sorbet.

Rush helps her mother and sister run Pink Sorbet, a signature Lilly Pulitzer shop. Rush's mother opened the store back in 2007.

"It's a family affair for sure," says Rush.

Going on six years later, Rush says the community has been good to them.

"I think it's the best decision we ever made," says Rush.

But she does recognize the challenges of owning a small business, even bringing comparison to the 1998 film, "You've Got Mail."

"We are the shop around the corner and we're competing with Fox books," says Rush.

The evidence of that is on the store's front door and even merchandise, as Rush and her family hope those who live here will continue to shop here.

"I think when people realize the difference that spending their dollars here vs. another outlet, it makes a huge difference in the community. I think they need to realize that there is a trickle down affect and if you don't spend your money with the local businesses, they're not going to be there forever," says Rush

Several events will be held in celebration of Small Business Week, those include:

Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Business Professional Development Workshop at 8:00 a.m. - Greater Columbia Chamber.

Lunch & Learn Financing Opportunities Women in Business at 11:30 a.m. - Greater Columbia Chamber

Cloud Computing & Back Up for Small Business at 1:30 p.m. - Greater Columbia Chamber

Employment Law, Social Media & Tips for Avoiding Lawsuits at 3:00 p.m. - Greater Columbia Chamber

Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Small Business Week Conference at 9:00 a.m. - Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center

Thursday, May 23, 2013:
Salute to Small Business, 2013 Small Business Awards at 9:00 a.m. -Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center

Executive Connection Roundtable, Small Talk with Big Business at 3:00 p.m. - Greater Columbia Chamber

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Hootie said on Monday, May 20 at 7:33 PM

I agree that small businesses are the backbone of our nation.....contrary to Mr. Obama.I appreciate that aesthetics are very important to get people in the door but the owners also need to be realistic with their pricing. One of a kind items are exorbitant prices aren't going to move that fast. Hopefully ALL races will receive support from the public. The City certainly seems to be pouring bucket-fuls of money....streets, hanging baskets of flowers...good that they have the wealth....the county neighborhoods could use it overflow available to them also. We, too, have small business and infrastructure needs...

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