Another big plus for small business, especially new startups, is that existing support networks are everywhere. Whether it’s public grant programs or incubators and development organizations, Massachusetts entrepreneurs rarely feel as if they’re all alone. There are also plenty of opportunities to connect with mentors or other members of the same industry through meetups that are organized online.
“The support is terrific,” Calder said. “There are quite a few incubators for entrepreneurs to come in and start the next great business. Boston in particular now is a very vibrant startup scene. There’s also a very active meetup scene. There’s always a good opportunity to meet other people — both prospective employers and employees, prospective startups to join, and opportunities to learn about the process of starting the company. It’s a supportive and vibrant community.”
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Massachusetts, for all of its attractive qualities for big businesses, is also a state where buying small and local is on the forefront of peoples’ minds. Not only do consumers often try to stay local or regional when they’re purchasing, entrepreneurs said, but a lot of small businesses also prioritize sourcing their needs from other Massachusetts-based companies.
“A great thing about Massachusetts is you can source a lot of your ingredients here,” Helen Coates, owner of Copper Kettle Bakery, said. “And a lot of people who live and buy here are addicted to the local movement … it seems to be a very big push.”
Coates added that she feels plugged into an extensive support network as well; not only does that support exist, she said, but she cannot even find the time to attend every entrepreneurial event that various organizations invite her to.