Nashville has made it to the list of “superstar” communities that have thrived and made the most gains after the crippling recession of 2008. Much of this success is attributed to the city’s visionary leadership, which saw opportunity amid the gloomy economic landscape. What stands out, in particular, was the decision to build the $600-million convention center about a decade ago—a bold move at a time when everyone else was strapping down for the worst. The center has become the heart of Nashville’s burgeoning economy today.
What’s even more encouraging for entrepreneurs in the city is that small businesses play a large role in the local economy. Of the 19,000 businesses here, 80% have no more than 20 employees. About 55% of jobs in the city come from small businesses, which not only provide full-time in-house employment, but hire outsourced services as well, including Nashville CPA services.
Entrepreneurship is greatly valued in Nashville. If you’re planning to start a business, you’ll find a wealth of support that can help you hit the ground running.
Here’s a list of resources you can tap:
- Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
The NACC offers the following programs for small businesses:
- Business Studio – Build your knowhow on business operations and growth through monthly workshops and professional development programs, as well as opportunities to network with your peers, potential customers, industry experts, and community leaders.
- Nashpreneurs – This digital community gives entrepreneurs a platform to share their stories, knowledge, concerns, and resources, allowing participants not only to learn from each other, but grow their network as well.
- Leadership Connect – This program chooses 10 small business owners each year to meet with CEOs and local leaders to tackle the issues concerning their businesses and the Middle Tennessee community as a whole.
- Nashville Small Business Development and Entrepreneurship
Nashville’s Office of Economic and Community Development provides incentives for small businesses. Grants are available for eligible fast-growing businesses, property improvements of qualified commercial properties, improvements for commercially used historic buildings, and others. The Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance (BAO) under this agency provides assistance to small and disadvantaged businesses.
- The US Small Business Administration Tennessee District Office
Since 1953, the SBA has helped thousands of small businesses across the country through loans and loan guarantees, opportunities for government contracting, counseling, networking events, and programs that aim to make it easier for small businesses to operate, such as the initiative for “reducing unnecessary regulatory burden.”
- The Tennessee Small Business Development Center
The TSBD is composed of certified business counselors who provide various services to entrepreneurs, including free counseling, training seminars, and referrals. They work in cooperation with the US Small Business Administration, universities and colleges, and other partners.
- The Nashville SCORE Chapter
SCORE is a nonprofit that provides training and mentoring to entrepreneurs nationwide, including middle Tennessee. It conducts educational workshops and has a library that includes a wide range of resources that small businesses will find useful, such as guides to obtaining a business license and creating business plans, and Excel templates for various accounting records.
- The Tennessee Society of CPAs
The TSCPA’s website includes a database of members’ resumes that entrepreneurs can use when searching for accounting services.
Make use of these resources in starting your own small business in Nashville, and keep in mind that there’s always someone to help you succeed in this winning city.
As US ‘Superstar’ Cities Thrive, Weaker Ones Get Left Behind, Reuters.com
How to Succeed in Small Business, Tennessean.com