It might not surprise you that new entrepreneurs often feel overwhelmed by their new ventures. They need money and resources and are not always sure where to find either.
What might surprise you, however, is that many of the established businesses that newbies seek out are actually looking for them too.
Such was the impetus for SCORE Princeton’s annual small business fair. The fair started last year, when area banks and service businesses asked for new ways to meet entrepreneurs, says Bill Litchman, SCORE’s chairman since October. The inaugural event ended up luring 500 people to the Princeton Library, where this year’s event also will take place.
The SCORE Small Business Fair will be held on Saturday, May 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is free to attend. Exhibitors this year include the Small Business Administration, At Home Tax Solutions, Bank of Princeton, Bio-1, Heartland Payment Systems, Isles, Magyar Bank, Stark & Stark, and NJAWBO. U.S. 1 Newspaper will also man a table at the event, exhibiting the paper’s website and Twitter presence and offering the new U.S. 1 Business Directory at a discount to all attendees. Visit www.scoreprinceton.org for more information.
Entering the fair’s second year, Litchman says he didn’t get to expand it as much as he would have liked. While the fair was generated by interest from service businesses, Litchman would like to see any and all local merchants be part of the day, whether a bank or a bakery.
When Litchman took over SCORE Princeton last year he stated that he hoped to expand the corps’ presence in the areas surrounding Princeton. So far he has lived up to the goal. SCORE, he says, has launched a new marketing and publicity plan, has started new counseling sessions in Middlesex County and Trenton, and is enjoying the benefits of increased congressional interest on the national level. Congress this year gave SCORE 40 percent more money than last year in order to help the corps meet its goals of creating 1 million new jobs, Litchman says.
Litchman grew up near Boston and earned his bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Tufts. He then moved to New York and spent most of his career as an engineer and management and sales executive with telecom giant ITT (now Qwest).
The event also features a spotlight business. This year’s is Enjoy Explore India, a camp based in North Brunswick that teaches children about India’s culture. Litchman says he selected EEI himself, as it is a little outside the small business mainstream. “It’s small, it’s woman-owned, and it’s ethnic,” he says. “I just really liked it.”