Small Business Center
Learn about the resources available to help small business operators maintain and expand their businesses, which remain a foundational component of the Marketplaces Industry. You’ll find links to government agencies like the Small Business Administration, which helps aspiring entrepreneurs write business plans and access capital in order to open physical stores and run their businesses. The SBA also offers specific support for women, veterans and entrepreneurs of color and offers advice on finding spaces, dealing with taxes and using tools to evaluate the effectiveness of small business websites.
Click on a category below or scroll down to get the answers you need quickly.
We continue to seek out information to help entrepreneurs grow and run their businesses in the rapidly evolving Marketplaces Industry. We welcome suggestions from ICSC members and Small Business Center readers. Please contact Small Business Center editor-in-chief Amanda Metcalf with more resources at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learning about running a business is challenging proposition. First-time entrepreneurs and seasoned small business owners always are learning, whether it’s how to make a business plan or how to navigate the complexities of today’s Marketplaces Industry from site selection to leasing space to marketing. Here are some of the most important sites dedicated to helping every sort of small business owner, from novice start-up founders to established operators expanding their enterprises and gaining visibility in brick-and-mortar spaces.
These resources address the fundamentals of starting and running a small business, from writing a business plan to case studies that offer useful lessons to entrepreneurs at any level. ICSC’s Setting Up Shop: A Commercial Space Readiness Guidebook covers the ins and outs of operating in today’s Marketplaces Industry, from business plan tips to selecting space and negotiating leases.
Financial backing is the most vital part of launching a small business and often the greatest obstacle to making a lasting footprint in the highly competitive Marketplaces Industry. Whether a business owner wants to open a mall kiosk or expand a brick-and-mortar business to multiple locations, there’s always a need for capital. The good news is that there are many avenues to funding, from direct government loans to Small Business Administration-facilitated loans from banks and other lenders that specialize in small business to grants from public and private sources that give new enterprises the financial boost they need to become successful. For small businesses devastated by natural disasters, there are also options for emergency relief funding to help owners get back on their feet after serious setbacks.
Navigating federal, state and city tax codes requires business owners to spend time – and if they’re not careful – more money than they should have to pay. The ICSC has compiled a list of resources to help small businesses and their landlords get a handle on these complicated and sometimes costly aspects of entrepreneurship.
Understanding the laws and regulations that affect small business is almost a full-time job in and of itself. Start here to find organizations that address the Marketplaces Industry’s basic legal and regulatory concerns, as well as more complex issues like lease terms.
Many small business problems start in daily operations. In the Marketplaces Industry, particularly in retail operations, that’s also often the best opportunity to improve efficiency and performance, from spending and equipment, to common area maintenance concerns to discuss with landlords to labor costs and other personnel issues. Among the resources available in this area are mentorship and advice in both English and Spanish from experienced business executives who volunteer with the Small Business Administration’s Service Corps of Retired Executives, or SCORE.
Technology makes it possible for small businesses to complete on equal footing with larger players in the Marketplaces Industry by expanding their capabilities, streamlining their operations, mastering omnichannel and doing business on a global scale. But keeping up to date and controlling tech costs remains challenging for small business owners and landlords alike. These resources provide tech advice and even tools for increasing the effectiveness of your business’ website.