Alabama ranks in top 20 best states for women entrepreneurs
While it may be a difficult time for some people trying to start a business during the government shutdown, here's some encouragement: a study done by fitsmallbusiness.com ranks the state of Alabama as one of the best states for female entrepreneurs.
"Can you cut me a piece of Oreo cheesecake please," says Kristal Bryant to one of her employees. She's the owner of K & J's Elegant Pastries in Alabaster.
Here's the scoop, she's got her own business, but it was hard work to get there.
"It's very challenging, I work a ton of hours, you know, 70, 80 hours a week," says Bryant.
Because of her hard work, and her tasty treats, especially the cupcakes and the extravagant milkshakes, she's been recognized all over the state and the country. Sweet Home Alabama is where it all started.
"I started doing these cakes from home and it turned into crazy, busy business," she says.
A business that she is excited to run with several of her family members.
Bryant had some start-up money, and took out her own loan to open at her location on 1st Street, but if you need money to start a business, the government shutdown affects some of your options.
The small business administration stopped processing new loans on December 22, the IRS won't be answering questions about small businesses, and if you're hiring people you can't verify legal status, but there are some things you can do.
"Find a need and fill it. Once you find a need and fill it, finding a business plan and also having some support services or kind of having an advisory council around you to help you move forward in the process and get all the things you need to help you get your business off the ground," says Reginald Smith, Business Development Officer for the state of Alabama.
Local organizations like TruFund offer advice and answer questions to help the process. Smith says small businesses are the heartbeat of cities like Birmingham, and TruFund strives to help entrepreneurs. The organization is especially eager to help female entrepreneurs.
"We want to definitely do our part to assist the women in the state of Alabama to be able to obtain the funding they may need, as well as the technical assistance they need to get off the ground."
TruFund has a Women in Business Program which has helped around 100 female business find success. Their 2019 cohort starts in August and goes through October, which is National Women's Small Business Month.
All you have to do is whip up your plan, and hopefully dig into sweet success.
For more information on startups, you can use some of the following resources: