KOKOMO — Despite the several rounds of pandemic relief, aimed to give small businesses a boost during the hardest parts of the pandemic, some entrepreneurial Hoosiers are still struggling.
Kisha Scott, of Kokomo, finds herself in this situation.
Scott's business, For Everyone Hair and Beauty Care LLC, has high-end products that she sells at discount, purchasing the items through wholesalers. She believes the products are what people want because of her experience setting up shop at different events.
"I sell a lot of my stuff at those events in Kokomo," Scott said. "People always buy something and compliment me on the variety of items I have."
However, Scott continues running into a problem: getting people to come to her actual shop. At this time, her living room in the front of her house is serving as the storefront.
"It's hard for people to actually give me a chance. The people who do come here, they love it and they come back."
Lori Dukes, economic development manager for Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance, said they have a lot to offer people like Scott.
"These resources are here. The opportunity is here," Dukes said. "Everything you're looking to try and accomplish, you're looking at a building full of everyone to accomplish those goals alongside of you."
Housed in the Inventrek Technology Park, Dukes said anyone who comes to the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance will have a slew of resources at their disposal. From tenants with offices, to a co-working space called the Shared Drive and Purdue Polytechnic @ Kokomo, Dukes said their building is teeming with ideas and knowledge that can help those looking to or have already started a small business.
Duke said they focus heavily on empowering small businesses because we've seen first-hand how important they are to the economy.
When major supply chain issues impacted consumers, some small companies and start-ups worked to fill the need.
"Our biggest contribution not only locally, but from a state perspective and even across the country is how we continue to encourage the development of small businesses and entrepreneurs," Dukes said.