Passion, resilience drive small business owners to succeed in Columbia

There are more than 16,000 small businesses in Richland County

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) — It’s no secret that small businesses are a major part of several communities across the Midlands.

As one of hundreds of small business owners who set up shop in Columbia, Tzima Brown says the best way to build longevity is to put passion at the forefront.

“You have to have that resilience, you have to have that passion. I’ve spent many hours studying this and studying that and researching this, but I love it. If I didn’t love it, I would have left this a long time ago,” said Brown, who is the owner of Sunrise Artisan Bath and Body in Five Points.

According to the Small Business Administration, 97% of all businesses in South Carolina are small businesses.

“That is what it takes to make a community like this one, a city like this one, a state like this one, move forward and make progress,” said Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina) at a press conference celebrating Small Business Week.

Some Columbia business owners say the best way to stick out is to capitalize on your location and to know your market.

Sharon Wright moved the Good Life Cafe from West Columbia to downtown Columbia five years ago and she says the results have been noticeable. 3

“We’re very diverse, and on Main Street, we’re the only one who is like this on this end of Main Street, so you really have to be unique and different,” Wright said.

Even if someone has owned a small business for a few years or for decades, the core message stays the same.

“It is not easy. If you decide to go into a small business, you have to show up. If there’s a passion you have, go after it,” said Harold Whitney Black, the Co-Owner of WhitAsh Furnishings.

The Small Business Administration says nearly half of all South Carolinians work for more than 300,000 small businesses across the state. The Columbia Chamber says 16,000 of those small businesses are in Richland County.


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