Most businesses have been hit hard over the last few years by a very difficult economic climate. In 2007, just over 25,000 businesses filed for bankruptcy. That number soared to over 58,000 each of the last two years. In the face of difficult times for business, it’s refreshing to find opportunities for growth.
The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce (GMCC) hosted their annual business expo at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. It’s the region’s largest business-to-business trade show. The energy and optimism were palpable and encouraging. Some of my favorites were Buzz Monkeys, EZ Office Products, Elements Writing, Virtual Vision, Waterfront Graphic Design, and Wisconsin Copy & Business Equipment. These businesses, along with many others exhibiting at the Expo, have great value propositions and the energy necessary to succeed as small business in Wisconsin.
It’s important to note that over 78% of the 6,050,000 employer firms in the U.S. have less than 10 employees and 98% have less than 100. That is, most businesses are small businesses. While small businesses are the lifeblood of most communities, they often lack the breadth of resources needed to conduct business in a complex economic environment. With this in mind, GMCC unveiled a new service at the Expo primarily aimed at serving small business – Ask Sam. When businesses have a question or need to be connected to the right people, they can call or email Ask Sam and they will help provide answers or connections to the right sources… very innovative.
Given the challenges of business in today’s economy, GMCC’s Business Expo not only provided opportunities for growth, but new connections with great businesses. Well done GMCC.