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Continued significant increase in business applications

More than 10,500 business applications submitted
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Posted at 6:15 PM, Feb 22, 2022

Many new small businesses have ups and downs when opening their doors, but that hasn’t stopped go-getters from starting new endeavors.

“I knew we were going to bring in national headliners and we did, and we got some great people in here and will continue to do that,” said Eric Phillips, Owner of 3 E’s Comedy Club.

Empty seats are no friend to Three E’s Comedy Club Owner Eric Phillips.

“These last two years have been crazy, you know you have more things to think about than comedy,” Phillips said.

But since opening in late 2020, he has done his best to keep his head above water.

“We shrunk our menu, our food menu, liquor, we kind of took away some of that, all for COVID,” said Phillips.

To help learn how to succeed during tough times, Phillips relied on the knowledge of others, including the Small Business Development Center.

“They’ve had to figure out a way to open up during a pandemic and keep their doors open,” said Aikta Marcoulier with the Small Business Development Center.

More than 10,500 people submitted business applications during 2020, which is a 9.6% increase from the previous year, according to the US Census Bureau. The team at the SBDC says there are multiple resources for these new owners to rely on for success.

“Whether that’s applications for building permits, because that’s been going up as well, or whether that’s applications to run their businesses,” says Marcoulier.

Phillips also relied on other area business leaders.

“Some friends reached out, heard some of the things I was going through and said, ‘hey let’s do this, let’s bring some people in and help Eric out, and again that’s our community,” said Phillips.

Now that he has a team of people and resources on his side, he’s hopeful 2022 will be the year his comedy club is filled to capacity every weekend.

“We want to continue to represent the city with a great comedy club,” said Phillips.

One of the bigger plans Phillips has in the works is starting a comedy festival that would bring residents and visitors to downtown every year.