Surprise, It May Not be a Terrible Time to Start a Business

| February 28, 2021

According to Forbes Magazine there has been quite a surge in business startups during this coronavirus pandemic. More businesses are being launched and recent startups are growing rapidly than any time in the last decade.

(Article and photo by: Richard Sayer of Eight & 322)

The Forbes article said that changing lifestyle and spending habits drove many businesses to adapt their operating models to meet consumer’s needs.

Gary Svetz, who has been helping businesses get off the ground around northwest Pennsylvania for over 20 years, agrees.

He said locally “we are mirroring the national trend.

With people shifting to a working from home model, many are in a place they want to be and aren’t eager to going back to an office everyday.

This has changed, Svetz said echoing the Forbes article, how people are spending their time and money. “COVID has made people think about what kind of life they want. It’s about the quality of life,” he said.

He added many people have also, out of necessity from being laid off, decided to try something they perhaps had on the back burner for years. He cited small business loans at low interest rates making that jump more attractive.

Other businesses, again out of necessity, have grown though innovative ways to reach customers using social media and other forms of connection.

So the timing of Svetz’s Small Business Jump Start classes kicking back into gear in a couple weeks might be just what the area business community needs.

Classes in Franklin and Meadville begin in the second week of March. Svetz’s program has helped over 700 businesses get started or grow. It boasts an 85% rate of businesses succeeding.

He also offers a program specifically for veterans who seek business help. Though he doesn’t have one currently planned at the moment, he says he has helped many veterans and always welcomes the opportunity to help more.

The goal for Svetz is to make the class accessible and affordable. “We reach out to meet the needs of an underserved area,” he said acknowledging his class is reaching into more rural areas.

“It only takes two or three businesses to change an area,” he said. The purpose is to help the area sustain and grow.

“We’re constantly changing the program to meet the changing needs of business and the community,” Svetz said.

He admits it might not be the best time to start a restaurant or something in the hospitality sector because of the pandemic, but he says there is a lot of funding available now and interest rates are low. Innovation and the changing lifestyles of workers are making business opportunities more flexible.

The classes are a mix of seasoned business people who are looking to expand services or grow to folks who come in with only an idea. Svetz says he likes that the classes have a synergy and that the students want to succeed and help each other. “It gives me a lot of satisfaction, it is fun to see people develop and obtain their dreams,” he said.

“I believe in the program. It is good for people and the whole community,” said Ronnie Beith who is the Marketing and Events coordinator in Franklin and who helps Svetz sign people up for the class. She said there are many Franklin businesses who have benefitted from the class. She added the class fee more than pays for itself in the discounted services it provides to new businesses.

She also said once you take the class you have Svetz’s expertise for life. “If call him up to meet for coffee, he’s there.” she said.

“It’s my way of giving back,” Svetz said.

Registration information can be found here.


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Category: Local News, News, Uncategorized