Snellville promotes small businesses

File Photo - City of Snellville City Hall

File Photo - City of Snellville City Hall

SNELLVILLE Fifty percent within the first year; 95 percent within the first five years. These convoluted statistics about business failure have kept people from creating start-ups and expanding their small businesses in Gwinnett and beyond.

The City of Snellville is working to combat the fear associated with these statistics by providing citizens the tools and resources they need to run a successful small business. Last May they created the Snellville Entrepreneurship Council (SEC), which is dedicated to starting and growing small businesses in the city.

In partnership with the City of Snellville Office of Economic Development, the SEC will host the Snellville Entrepreneur Summit from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. June 9 at Snellville City Hall. The free event is part of their initiative to build a network of people with local, regional and national expertise.

"Hopefully we can help them avoid the normal pitfalls that entrepreneurs face when they are not connected to a group," said Eric Van Otteren of the City of Snellville Office of Economic Development.

The summit will introduce guests to a peer advisory board of six to ten business leaders from different backgrounds. The board will share their business stories and testimonials, offer advice and work with guests to find solutions to specific problems. Guests will also be encouraged to join the SEC's free mentorship program, which can be short-term or long-term depending on what the mentor and the mentee decide upon. Additionally, the summit will include a training session on the Snellville Business Toolbox, a step-by-step online resource for those starting, sustaining or growing a business.

"Its really important for businesses to hear about different opportunities, " said Van Otteren. "Only one in five businesses fail when they have access to these resources and advising."

The summit will be a "momentum building activity" to engage the community in creating more businesses and ultimately more jobs. The council is following the model of groups in Snellville that are driven by community volunteerism such as the Snellville Farmer's Market, the Southern Gwinnett Community Arts program and the Snellville Community Garden. Similarly, the SEC aims to empower people--this time through business.

"Our goal is to help small businesses grow in the city, so we're going to do everything to meet that need," said Van Otteren.

For more information call 770-985-3508. Guests can register at www.snellville.org/summit before June 5.