Chambers of Commerce throughout Virginia are getting ready to honor small businesses with regional awards, that go on to compete at the state level.
The Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations through Monday in such categories s as Business-to-Business, Business-to-Consumer and Technology. Chamber officials say the company doesn’t have to be headquartered in Roanoke to be considered for an award; it just has to conduct business in the Star City. Small businesses, especially restaurants, have their own unique challenges.
“Restaurant is really hard work. I used to work for factory but it’s not that hard. But the restaurant work is like you’re up here running around, look for everything and do everything and you don’t have much time.”
“City Corner” is a small eat-in or take-out Asian restaurant with two locations; downtown Roanoke and on Plantation Road. Owner Micky Vanisavath bought the restaurant four months ago but says it’s been open about three years.
“That’s the only nice thing, get to be your own boss because nobody can tell you what to do but you have to work your way up to try to please the customer; know what the customer want.”
He says what his customers want is reasonably priced, good, fresh food. He admits it’s challenging to start a small business or buy an existing one.
“sales, where you go buy your groceries at. You have to know the people.”
Vanisavath advises potential entrepreneurs to do their homework to determine what their competition is and if starting a business is right for them. While he has only one employee, chamber officials say don’t let the name “small business” fool you. Companies can have up to 500 employees and still be considered for an award in some categories.