This past summer my kids discovered this really cool, retro candy store that opened in the plaza down the street from us. Every other day they would walk down the street with their friends and discover one of the unique candies that many of us grew up with. Candy Buttons, Pez, Wax Bottles and Double Bubble just to name a few. It was so cool to see their smiling faces, while also reliving my youth. So, you can imagine my disappointment this week, when I learned that the retro candy store was permanently closing. Unfortunately, this is just one additional closed retail store that can be added to the pile of closures that the plaza has seen over the past few years. What is even more disappointing is that the majority of them could have been easily prevented.

So, why is it that some businesses succeed, while others quickly fail? Obviously, this is a complex question with hundreds of different reasons, so it is not a question that can be answered in a simple blog. That said, there is one thing that I have seen repeatedly make a difference for small startup companies……Business Networking. The owners of the Retro Candy Store had been repeatedly asked to visit some different businesses networking organizations in the area, but like so many others before them, they always had an excuse why they couldn’t attend.

In stark contrast to the Retro Candy Store, not a day goes by that I don’t hear some small business professional tell me, “I wouldn’t be in business today if it weren’t for this group.” Business Networking provides so many critical resources to new companies for a price tag that they could never find anywhere else. Here are a few that came to mind.

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Photo by Linnaea Mallette