Are you a soon-to-be college graduate looking forward to the next journey of your life? Your next step may be to get an internship, but nowadays, internships aren’t easy to come by as they once were. Competition is high and sometimes you may even need the experience before you get the experience! This is where small businesses come in and save the day! Although employers like Google and your local congress may be the first choice for you, your local art studio or coffee shop may be some of your best and quicker options. With funding being heavily geared towards growing small businesses, they are in need of help more than ever and may consider "the kid down the street" before the over-qualified adult from out of state. 

Here’s how small businesses are helping you in ways you may not have considered:

  1. They are Employers that You Know: We’ve all heard the phrase “It’s not what you know, but who you know”. This thought sounds daunting to the college student that stayed up late studying for the next day’s exam. However, this is not to say that pounding the textbooks won’t land you a job, but strong associations do help give you that extra advantage. These employers can be anyone from a family friend, your college professor, or even the barista at your local coffee shop; just a quick two-minute conversation can produce a relationship beyond someone who is just doing a straight shot to the online order counter.

  2. They Encourage Close Relationships: Unlike big companies where the focus lies on work and making money, small businesses allow for coworking relationships to grow beyond just the day-to-day tasks. Instead of being tucked into a cubicle separated from your peers, the close parameters of a flower shop encourage easier engagement and a helping hand when needed. 

  3. They Create a Space for Intrapreneurship: If you are in the looks of being your own boss, small companies are a great start! Some of your local spots could use a skill that you possess that they didn’t even know they needed! Whether it’s managing their social media, creating community events, or even giving a speech at the office dinner party, this is a nice way of getting prepared for when you’ll be starting your own business. 

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