By Molly Spangler, Director of Economic Development
Sedona AZ (July 26, 2018) – Small businesses are at the heart of our community. Our small businesses create opportunities for entrepreneurs to thrive, jobs for our neighbors, and gathering places for each of us to connect.
The city recognizes the importance of small businesses to Sedona’s social, cultural and economic health and that’s why we provide small business assistance and outreach through my department, Economic Development. Operating a small business takes risk, hard work and diligence. If my city colleagues and I can help a local business sustain itself or even expand, we are happy to help.
Small businesses create jobs, and more meaningful jobs. Two out of three new private sectors jobs are created by small businesses and these kinds of jobs often provide employees with higher levels of satisfaction than “big business” jobs. Employees of small businesses tend to take pride in their work and feel their work matters to the community – and it does! Small businesses help color and shape Sedona’s unique identity.
What do small businesses need to thrive? They need funding, a business strategy and planning, skilled workforce, marketing and social media, networking, financial acumen, market data, a good quality of life, and a supportive environment. The city of Sedona helps small business development by being a resource.
Here are some of the ways the city has been helping local businesses over the several months.
A small business loan helped Dr. Mary Watson, an experienced psychiatrist and resident of Sedona, who is starting Tribe Wellness Group PLLC. Dr. Watson’s emphasis is on treating the whole person rather than following a disease model. Dr. Watson will open her new business with a small business loan provided through the Verde Valley Regional Economic Organization (VVREO) Revolving Loan Fund, in which the city is a partner with other governmental, private-sector and nonprofit partners. Dr. Watson plans to hire five new positions over the next couple of years, three of which will be licensed therapists. Mental health services are in demand locally and nationally, and VVREO and the city are excited for the jobs Watson’s business will create along with the continued presence of a much-needed service in our region.
The city’s Small Business Coffee Talks are helping entrepreneurs learn from local experts and network while highlighting the wealth of existing business knowledge available for anyone to tap. Sedona residents who want to know what’s brewing in small business are invited to our monthly talk. Talks are free, but registration is required at sedonaaz.gov/econdev; visit the training and events page to access the registration form. Next up on Aug. 28 from 8 to 9:30 am is Chris Doyle, a commercial banker and business financing expert. He will help you understand cash flow, start-up costs, and how to access funding. Small business owners routinely let me know how valuable they find these coffee talks and I’m gratified to know that another hard-working Sedona resident has found one more tool to strengthen their business.
The Sedona Economic Development Department exists to help businesses create and keep jobs, and start, strengthen or expand their Sedona business. That’s a good thing for everyone.
For information on revolving loans, business education, and other business support resources, contact me, Sedona Economic Development Director Molly Spangler, at firstname.lastname@example.org.