WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem is a pretty sweet spot to start a small business, according to sweet treats maker Shannon Jessup and the personal finance website WalletHub.
“The city and really Forsyth County have great resources. That’s the key, knowing that there is help out there and knowing where that help is, it’s so important,” Jessup said. “Getting insight for people who have been there makes all the difference. I can tell you, if you try to go it alone and try to do everything, you’ll run out of fuel real fast.”
Jessup and his wife and then 9-year-old daughter Elaysa opened Elaysa B’s Candy Tree in 2012 in downtown Winston-Salem and it’s been growing ever since. The shop now has a party center and creates a variety of handmade candied apples, cakes and soon, gourmet popcorn.
WalletHub just released its 2016 rankings of the best cities to start a small business, based on difference factors including what resources and financing options are available, longevity of existing small businesses and long-term survival rate of small businesses. Winston-Salem came in at No. 11 in the country.
The Small Business Center at Forsyth Tech is one of the most comprehensive go-to resources for small businesses in Winston-Salem. They offer numerous types of free classes to help people start small businesses or growing existing small businesses.