The York County Regional Chamber is an excellent resource for businesses that may be struggling. With one call to the Chamber (803) 324-7500, businesses can be connected to local, state, and national resources. For example, the Small Business Development Center at Winthrop University offers assistance with business plans, financial and marketing analysis, and more. The Chamber's Small Business Council regularly presents seminars from small business owners and also facilitates a Peer advisory Group meeting monthly where members share ideas to assist each other.
Peer Advisory Group
2. Where do I go to open up a new business?
York County does not issue any type of licensing for a business as prospective business owners must contact the city/town in which they are located.
Rock Hill applications for a business license can be obtained here.
Fort Mill applications for a business license can be obtained here.
Tega Cay applications for a business license can be obtained here.
3. What ways can my membership help me promote my business?
Chamber membership can help promote your business through acess to the county's largest pool of business contacts who also want to grow their business and increase personal contacts. Members can promote their business through over 40 regional networking events and have opportunities for online promotion and advertising. Members can also do a ribbon-cutting (promoted by the Chamber) to promote the opening of their business.
4. How can I get a specific return on my Chamber Membership? ROI?
Return on investment is different for each member company. This can be determined by their investment level, goals with chamber membership, activity level, and other factors determined by the company at an intitial consultation session with Chamber staff. If you would like a member consultation please contact Becky Adams or call (803) 324-7500.
5. I dont like networking events, what else can the Chamber offer me?
Depending on what membership investment level a member chooses, there are various different additional benefits that can be utilized without having to attend a networking event. Online advertising, sponsoring events, utilizing the Chamber Advantage Program, utilizing the day or night Chamber meeting rooms and many more.
The Chamber holds several events that have different focuses such as educational seminars, award ceremonies, and other business, government, and community related topic events. Members can also get involved in Chamber committees (i.e. Small Business Council, Ambassadors, and Government Affairs) which afford opportunities to meet and work with Chamber members.
6. How can I benefit from participating in Business Before or Business After Hours?
Business Before Hours is typically 7:30am to 9:00am and is a great way to network with other busy individuals before going into the office. This allows individuals who are short on time or may not have as flexible hours to participate in an event where they can meet other business professionals without sacrificing percious at home time.
Business After Hours is typcially from 4:00pm to 6:00pm (Bankers Hours 5:30pm to 7:00pm) and allows the business professionals to attend a social event that offers them the opportunity to attend this work function towards the end of their work day. It is one of the most attended networking events at the chamber. There is also a structured networking opportunity during the event. Member organizations can host one of these events at their location to showcase their products, services, facility, etc.
7. What are the legal requirements to start a business?
You can find information on the legal requirements to start a business at South Carolina Business One Stop. South Carolina Business One Stop or SCBOS is the offical South Carolina business web portal. It enables anyone with an existing business or anyone starting a new business to file permits, licenses, registrations, or pay taxes.
South Carolina Business One Stop
8. Who should I contact if I have questions about membership?
Becky Adams, Director of Member Relations, can assist members with questions about membership.
9. Can I advertise with the Chamber? Are group, i.e., Chamber member discounts offered by advertisers?
The York County Regional Chamber of Commerce offers various avenues for you to advertise your business. Advertising can be done on the Chamber's website and in the E-Happenings weekly newsletter. For more information, contact Becky Adams or call the Regional Chamber Office at (803) 324-7500.
There are Member-to-Member Discounts available, with a full list of those currently available click the link below.
Member to Member Discounts
10. How do I keep informed of the York County Regional Chamber's small business events?
One of the best ways to stay informed is to read the Chamber's communications. A weekly calendar of events is emailed each Monday morning called E-Happenings. The Chamber also has an online event calendar.
Links to local small business resources
- Winthrop University's Small Business Development Center of SC
- York County Economic Development
- York Technical College
- Business & Information Technology
- Entrepreneur Network
Links to regional small business resources
- Catawba Regional Council of Governments
- Central Piedmont Community College
- Institute for Entrepreneurship
- Institute for Entrepreneurship at CPCC, Resource Navigator
Links to state small business resources
- South Carolina Chamber of Commerce
- South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership
Links to national business resources
- SCORE Counselors of America's Small Business
- US Small Business Administration
- www.sba.gov/assessmenttool; a tool designed to measure and assist your readiness in starting a new small business
- www.business.gov; the official business link to the US Government.
Small Business Resources for Minority-Owned and Woman-Owned Businesses
The Small Business Association hs an SBA 8(a) Minority-Owned and Women-Owned Business Directory. You can call them at 1-800-845-8420 or (803) 765-5377 to get registered. Thomas Register also has classification for minority and women owned businesses that can be searched under "Company Type". Go to the "Promote Your Business" tab on the home page or call them at 866-585-1191 to get the registration process started.
There is also a South Carolina Minority Business web site that mentions the following programs and certifications:
- 8(a) Business Development Certifications (SBA) - SBA's business assistance program for socially and economically disadvantaged businesses. To apply, contact SBA District Office at (803) 765-5377 or www.sba.gov.
- Governor's Office of Small & Minority Business Assistance (OSMBA) - Certifies socially and economically disadvantaged minority and women businesses in accordance with Article 21 of the State Procurement Code. Call (803) 734- 0657 or visit www.govoepp.state.sc.us/osmba
- HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program - Provides federal contracting opportunties for qualified small businesses located in distressed areas. Contact SBA to determin eligibility at (803) 765-5377 or visit www.sba.gov.
- ISO 9001:2000, ISO 14001, and ISO 18001- Establish and update your management systems to meet guidelines of ISO 9001:2000, ISO 14001 and ISO 18001. Contact Vivian Harper at the S.C. Manufacturing Extension Partnership at (803) 252-6976, ext 229 or visit www.scmep.org.
- PHOENIX (MBDA) - National minority contract matching database. Majority companies may enter available contracts through MBDA website at www.mbda.gov or call (404) 730-3300.
- PRO-Net (SBA) - SBA's Pro-Net is a one-stop procurement shop for users and an Internet-based database of information on more than 171,000 small, disadvantaged, 8(a) and women-owned businesses.
- S. C. Department of Transportation - Certifies minority businesses specifically seeking contracts with the state dealing with transportation. Call (803) 737-1318 or visit www.dot.state.sc.us.
- Small Disadvantaged Business Program (SBA) - For more details, call ( 803) 256-3212 or visit www.desainc.com
- Women's Business Enterprise National Council - National certification of women's business enterprises. Call (202) 872-5515 or visit www.wbenc.org.
*Continuing Educations Resource Matrix - Click here to download your copy.
10 sites to help entrepreneurs succeed
1. Resources for entrepreneurs by state: www.gaebler.com/resources-for-entrepreneurs-bystate.htm
2. Entrepreneurs Great Websites: www.gaebler.com/web-sites-for-entrepreneurs.htm.
3. National Business Incubation Association: www.nbia.org
4. Social networking site list: www.careeroverview.com/blog/2009/100-best-social-sites-for-entrepreneurs
5. Business link to the U.S. government: www.business.gov.
6. Kauffmann Foundation of Entrepreneurship: www.entrepreneurship.org
7. Industry statistics and financial ratios: www.bizstats.com
8. Market research: www.nielsen.com
9. Financing business sites: www.businessfinance.com
10. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: www.uspto.gov