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Old 06-27-2016, 06:30 AM
Location: Danville, VA
4,604 posts, read 3,017,836 times
Reputation: 2898


Wilson in top 12 small cities for business | The Wilson Times

As the president of the Wilson Chamber of Commerce, Ryan Simons recognizes the assets the city has to offer to the business community. The city’s recent ranking on a national list has raised that awareness among many others.

“This research only validates what we’ve known in Wilson for a long time,” Simons said of WalletHub ranking Wilson as the 12th-best small city to start a business. “We have a phenomenal entrepreneurial ecosystem here.”

Simons said the chamber has added 30 new members since January, 19 of which fall into the category of small businesses. Some examples include The Singers Studio and Touch of Country Boutique and Gifts in downtown as well as Education Exchange, Freedom Family Medicine and Desserts by Contagious Confections around town.

“Small businesses are absolutely vital to our community,” Simons said. “...When people shop at a small business or eat at a locally owned restaurant, they experience something exclusive to our community, and it defines for them what kind of place Wilson is.”

He said the chamber helps to cultivate the business sector by providing resources.

“What really sets us apart is the high level of collaboration now occurring between institutional partners, including the chamber, city, county, schools and many others,” Simons said.

The Small Business Center at Wilson Community College also provides a gamut of resources for professionals from first-time entrepreneurs to business veterans. For more information, go to Small Business Center.

The potential for businesses in Wilson has caught the attention of professionals across the country, especially among companies looking for franchisees. FranNet Carolina owner Mike Hall, who helps match potential business owners with franchise opportunities, said the network of higher education in Wilson paired with existing high-skill employers provides the perfect picture for people looking to expand the area’s amenities through business ownership.

“What is nice in smaller cities is that there is frankly less competition, so if I’m starting a business in Wilson, it may be that I could own the only franchise there whereas in Raleigh, there might be 10 of the same franchises,” he said. “Also, there is a chance to have a higher profit margin in a smaller market like Wilson.”

While Wireless Zone is not in the Carolinas yet, vice president of business development Jeff Panella said a franchise is a great route for entrepreneurs.

“We want people who have an interest in being in business for themselves, but not by themselves,” Panella said.

The Cleaning Authority has two models for franchises, including the hometown market model that provides owners with resources in smaller communities to target households most apt to hire a maid service. Chief development officer Iric Wexler said that while the company has 206 franchises, each one is a small business focused on providing a quality service that saves people time.

Welcomemat Services founder Brian Mattingly said Wilson’s inclusion on the list substantiates his intuition to watch the community recently in hopes of bringing the company’s service to eastern North Carolina. While new residents often are bombarded with national brands when filing a change of address form, Welcomemat develops welcome packages with a focus on small business.

“We work with neat cafes and the hardware store with a 20-year employee,” Mattingly said. “Wilson has piqued our interest because of all of the growth there, so we hope to help small businesses access the growth and bolster the economy.”
Also, according to this other article, other eastern NC cities that were listed and ranked were:

New Bern-156



Study: Wilson Among '2016's Best Small Cities to Start a Business'
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