One thing is for sure: There are a TON of different platforms for business owners and their companies to market themselves. Bellefonte, and Centre County as a whole, provide a host of networking and business growth opportunities.
As entrepreneurs, surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals and groups can have a major impact on your own success, and that of your business. You hear it all the time, entrepreneurs learn by trial and error, but if you are engaging with others you will learn from them at a faster rate than you would on your own.
The value of making connections and nurturing those relationships, while being a form of support for those similar to your work ethic, is priceless.
When used efficiently, networking can open the door for job opportunities, landing new clients, and utilizing talent for future hiring.
And what better place to emerge yourself in the complete package than the community responsible for aiding the growth of your company?
- The Keystone Community Development Association (BelleKey) has a mission to be stewards and advocates for Bellefonte’s historic and architectural heritage while promoting a vibrant, economically viable downtown. There is a spirit of collaboration among business owners, community organizations and local government that has developed in strong private public partnerships making Bellefonte thrive as an all inclusive community where people can take ownership. That has increased the business and the entrepreneurialism in Bellefonte.
- The BelleKey Business Owners is a group of downtown business owners who meet monthly for business support. These local merchants groups, joining forces to become one, interact through a private Facebook page that discusses upcoming events, promotional opportunities and more.
- The Bellefonte Chamber of Commerce represents all areas of business and industry, service and tourism, as well as individuals. Their membership is comprised of sole proprietorships, small and large businesses, corporations, non-profits and community organizations and individuals located throughout Centre County.
- The Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County (CBICC) is a membership organization comprising business of all sizes and from a variety of industry sectors, as well as nonprofit agencies and academic institutions. The CBICC is the champion of economic development and business growth in Centre County, and with close to 1,000 members, the largest organization representing businesses throughout central Pennsylvania.
- The young professionals arm of the CBICC is CBICC Connect. This group provides young professionals throughout Centre County with opportunities to collaborate and expand their professional network, while also giving them a collective voice to identify areas of opportunity within the Live, Work, Learn and Play pillars in order to create a vibrant local economy in which all generations can thrive.
- The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) are the only statewide, nationally accredited program that provides high quality one-on-one consulting, training and information resources to empower new and existing businesses. It’s mission is to provide entrepreneurs and small business owners with the knowledge needed to make smart decisions and prosper.
- Another young professionals group in the community, based out of State College, is the State College Young Professionals (SCYP). This group provides a year-round forum for young professionals to connect, collaborate, and learn from each other. Together they build a foundation for State College to build its future on, while also volunteering, socializing, and having fun.
To add more diversity into your entrepreneurial support system, whether you need an office space or not, co-working is a great option. Co-working is about community, sharing resources, a collection of talents and the ability to work around people whom you impress and who inspire you.
SpringBoard is where ideas become reality. By becoming a member, you're getting access to a ton of professional amenities and services. The facility is equipped with ample desk and co-working space, in addition to a variety of other amenities that cater to business owners and professionals alike. A membership at SpringBoard isn't just about the physical space. It's about the resources the membership connects you with.
Get out there, soak in all our community has to offer, and watch your business thrive.
Author: Katey Crean, Hello Social Co.