Small businesses are important

Published 9:04 am Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Small businesses are the backbone of any community and our country. This statement, I’m sure, comes with little surprise to most people. As a matter of fact, over half of the businesses in Carter County have less than five employees and just over 75 percent have less than 10 employees. We also estimate that just under one of every four workers employed in Carter County work for a small business with less than 10 employees. Imagine the impact if 1/4 of the jobs in the county disappeared!
This is the reason small business and entrepreneurship development is such an important objective for our department. Recently, we have partnered with the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership (NeTREP) to bring a new offering for small businesses and entrepreneurs to Elizabethton — Co.Starters.
Co.Starters is a nine-week class targeted to help entrepreneurs take their business ideas and turn them into reality. This is a great opportunity for those who have been thinking about starting a business to get in and learn more about the process and how to be successful. Having been through a portion of this class before, it is also very beneficial for existing small business owners who are looking to improve their business or add in another product to their business.
The course will cover identifying your customer, dealing with competition, developing your messaging/marketing, determining your revenue stream, and identifying your startup needs and costs. The course can be intensive with weekly assignments and a lot of material that will be covered in the nine weeks. You will also hear from existing successful small businesses and get advisement from business professionals regarding starting your small business. The best part is, once you’ve completed the course, you have the formula and materials to go on and continue to develop and improve your business or start another business over-and-over again.
The classes will be three hours long every Tuesday evening for nine weeks. The classes will start February 12, but the registration deadline is Wednesday, Feb. 6. The cost for the course is $90 (which is $10 per class) and is open to anyone who lives in or is wanting to start a business in Elizabethton, Carter County, Johnson County, Unicoi County, and Washington County. The course is limited to 12 participants on a first-come, first-served basis. To learn more or register, visit
The development of small business is the future for our community. As those small businesses grow, their success will become the success of our community. And remember to do your part — support our local, small businesses. Let’s talk about it!
(Jon Hartman is Director of Planning & Economic Development for the City of Elizabethton. He can be contacted at 423-542-1503 or by email at:

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