Education

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Small-Business Success but Were Afraid to Ask

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Small businesses and startups are some of the most important influencers for economic growth and generate about 50 percent of the GDP. They’re also the lifeblood of our local economies—and McHenry County is no exception.

Responding to a call from the community for more information on small-business startups, McHenry County College is hosting its second Small-Business Fair Tuesday, October 30 from 8-11 a.m.

The roots of the event are twofold, said Sherry Ridge, MCC’s Business Program chair.

“One, we have a lot of students who operate direct-sales businesses, or they want to, and they’re not sure how to go about it,” said Ridge. “Secondly, direct-sales businesses often express an interest in offering business opportunities for independent contractors.”

In addition to providing an opportunity to network and explore options, Ridge said the fair also offers a Professional Exchange. Experts in accounting and business law from the college’s Small-Business Development Center, marketing professionals, a commercial banker, and more volunteer their time to answer questions. Structured like a speed dating round, attendees have 15 minutes to speak to each expert.

“It was very popular last year,” Ridge said. “We had a lot of community members who came in last year who were looking for that very thing. We tell people to have their questions ready, because it’s going to go by fast.”

The fair proved popular in its inaugural year, with 34 booths and 150 attendees, exceeding the Business Department’s goal on both counts. The fair is free, and attendees do not need to pre-register.

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