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The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce is retooling its support for small businesses, trying to link new entrepreneurs with mentors and resources they need to grow their companies and thus new jobs, said Ben Teague, the chamber's executive vice president for economic development.
County's 7,436 businesses employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of all Buncombe businesses employ only one to four workers.
The vast majority 97.7 percent of Buncombe Adidas Black 'duramo 5' Trainers
The reward isn't about money, but about building a brand that is of value to people.
"Small business isn't for sissies," says Carla Baden, the sole owner of Sante Wine Bar. Asked how many hours she puts into her downtown Grove Arcade business, which is open seven days a week year round, Baden laughed. "I try not to count."
"They say 'If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere.' New York is easy. Try Asheville," Sanders said.
finally launching that dream shop or restaurant or service.
"Entrepreneurship is almost a way of life, and 50 to 60 hours a week is certainly normal, then you're going to dream about it at night. If you're not passionate about what you're doing, then starting a business is probably not for you," Carton said.
They still operate an artist design shop MIA (Made in Asheville) down on Lexington, and operate a sewing and design studio out of their home's renovated garage in East Asheville.
"I'm working more than I ever have," Marsh admits. and perhaps won't end until after midnight.
"You can't call it going to work. It's not work. It's going to problem solving. It's going to joy," Marsh said.
Building a brandDaniel Sanders and Marylou Marsh have been in the organic fabric business for 25 years, launching the Spiritex clothing store, first on Lexington Avenue and then Haywood Street.
The economic downturn has affected their businesses, forcing them to give up some rented space downtown even as they try to build a lasting national brand out of their original, locally woven and sewn clothing.
It's a life more Americans share as the economy increasingly relies on small businesses to generate jobs.
"That's not all consuming. That's more of a lifestyle business," Carton said. "There's a difference between creating a job for yourself and creating a business. Real entrepreneurs aren't just creating a job for themselves."
But theirs is not a sweatshop existence, the Sanders insist. It's just life and work bound up over seven days a week.
Instead of pulling in or hunkering down during the bad economy, the couple is trying Adidas High Tops Neon Green
It sounds good: be your own boss and set your own hours.
Baden's workload is by no means unusual for anyone launching or keeping a small business on track, according to Robert Carton, director of Adidas Energy Boost Running Shoes 2017 entrepreneurship in the College of Business at Western Carolina University.
to expand their opportunities locally, a necessity to business survival, let alone business success.
But building a small business "isn't for the faint hearted," Teague admitted. "Your professional and personal lives bleed into each other. It's who you are."
Nationwide over the past decade, about two thirds of all jobs have been created by businesses that were less than 5 years old.
area entrepreneurs put in long hours to succeed
While entrepreneurship may not be for everyone with those typical long hours, it's a good bet that small businesses can create more jobs.
Even reaching the point of success of taking on employees raises the bar for a business owner, Carton said.
Baden concedes she comes into the bar's office even on her days off. Most weeks turn into 50 to 60 hours of work.
"You start assuming responsibility for other people and their livelihoods," he said. "I don't know of any successful entrepreneur who takes that lightly. It's not a job. You can't just go home and think it's somebody else's problem."
ASHEVILLE With jobs hard to find in a tough economy, many workers are reinventing themselves as entrepreneurs, Adidas Duramo Slide Marble
Call it sweat equityUsually with little capital to put into a start up business, most entrepreneurs have to rely on their own labor to keep a store open or a service operating before they can think of hiring anyone to share the workload.
Of course, there are some people who start up small sideline businesses for a little extra cash, like the stay at home mom who sells items online on eBay.
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