Pittsburgh was recently named one of the top ten cities in the United States for small business activity, according a new study of entrepreneurial activity across the country conducted by the Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City, Mo.
In the aftermath of the 2008 financial collapse, Pennsylvania Treasurer Timothy Reese applauds the city’s comeback, but wants to continue providing resources for small businesses looking to expand throughout the Commonwealth.
Reese is a one of the keynote speakers at the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence’s Small Business Initiative Thursday, June 2. He told Essential Pittsburgh he hopes the event helps business owners sift through difficult financial questions in a meaningful way.
“We’re trying to take a holistic view of your business so that you can gain a better footing and understand all the areas in which you can affect the growth of your business,” Reese said.
Challenges to small businesses in Pennsylvania align with those of the rest of the country for the most part, Reese explained, but cities like Pittsburgh have a certain advantage.
“Particularly in Pittsburgh, you have a strong base of college folks out there,” Reese said.
This demographic could help alleviate some of the woes business owners experience when searching for employees.
Throughout his tenure as Treasurer, Reese said he’s had to invent different investment models to accommodate an evolving bank-business relationship.
Reese plans to tackle some of these challenges by providing resources to address four elements he believes particularly impact the success of small business: health insurance, legal matters, finance and corporate governance.
Pitt’s event, he hopes, will start a conversation about these challenges. Drawing from his own experience as an entrepreneur for over 20 years, Reese said it’s important for business owners to tackle these issues head-on, even if it’s difficult.
“How do you get the most out of your business? And then, how do you propel yourself to go to the next level? This is what we’re doing at these events.”
Eligible businesses must have been in business for three years and have generated $250,000 in revenue over the past two.
The event is one of several to occur throughout the Commonwealth this year. Reese said he wants to continue supporting small businesses by providing effective resources without all the fluff.
“When I first got started there weren’t a lot of places to get information,” he said. “But now we have an over-abundance.”
The Initiative is targeting the millions of business registered in PA, Reese explains, but the ones that have zero employees other than the owner. This demographic traditionally struggles to find accessible solutions.
“What I want to do is bring a collective of voices who see the marketplace in PA and globally, if not nationally, to lend their voice so you get a 360 view of the issues and that will allow us to have a better conversation and a more informed conversation.”
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