Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce works to sustain small businesses after pandemic

10 News spoke with business leaders who said the programs are helping them succeed.

PULASKI, Va. – The pandemic has impacted our lives and affected small businesses everywhere, and in Pulaski County, the Chamber of Commerce staff is working to help make sure they can continue to grow by helping business owners network in the innovation center.

The purpose of the innovation center is to help businesses that are starting up get access to resources like low start-up costs until they can sustain themselves.

“What we hope for is continued growth,” Bill Cunningham with the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce said. “We want more businesses to realize the advantage of being in Pulaski County; we offer a tremendous amount of resources.”

Other resources include ‘Shop Small Pulaski’ which helps local business owners, like Southern Hart’s Boutique owner Christy Underwood.

Underwood always had an interest and a good eye for fashion.

“We just got some rompers, and they just sold like this,” Underwood said.

For Underwood, the shop is her pride and joy.

“I’m excited and nervous. I feel like this is what I called to do,” Underwood said.

Underwood bought the business from her friends earlier this year.

“I had always said if you ever sell the boutique, I would be interested,” Underwood said.

Underwood’s boutique has been doing well since she took over in April and she credits the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce for having initiatives like ‘Shop Small Pulaski,’ which encourages customers to shop local.

“They are just so kind, they are always willing to help you, and they have a lot of ideas. "

Another owner that takes advantage of the assistance with the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce is Jon Jarrells.

Jarrells is the owner of Electrical and Control Solutions and the business is in the Innovation Center that houses other companies.

Jarrells expressed that the center is crucial for other businesses as well.

“Very attractive with the aspect of paying one lease and you have access to manufacturing space, shared space, conference room,” Jarrells said.

Jarrells said that in the long run, the innovation center could also benefit the county.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity we’ve had to be a part of the business center, I just look for the center to grow, and hopefully, other communities will look at what is happening here and introduce that to other areas,” Jarrell said.

“There is enough room for everyone, and I want us all to grow,” Underwood said.

About the Author:

Duke Carter returned to 10 News in January 2022.