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What is MASBA? New non-profit launches in Marshfield

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It is no secret that Marshfield is full of small businesses: from local eateries to coffee shops to boutiques, the small business industry in Marshfield seems to be thriving. However, where small businesses ARE thriving-there is a distinct lack of focus on offering small business owners with help.

“For the last couple of years I’ve noticed a need within the small business community; small businesses owners don’t have anyone to turn to for education related to their business, they don’t have a good support system and they are solely reliant on themselves when it comes to advocating and promoting for their business,” shared Amber Brand, President of Marshfield Area Small Business Association (MASBA). “After spending a year on the Chamber Board, I decided it was time to take the leap and create the non-profit I had been envisioning for the last several years.”

“To be clear, MASBA wasn’t created to compete with the chamber, rather to help fill in a gap that the Chamber is missing,” explained Brand. “The Chamber does a really great job at recognizing new businesses and connecting them to the community, but it lacked in offering a sense of 'community' for the small business owners.”

MASBA's board is made up of both small business owners and community members.

"Each board members fills a specific niche in the small business community and has real life experience in what small business owners need to grow and be successful,” added Brand. “The goal of MASBA is to help bring the small business community together with events and education, while also helping businesses learn how to stand out through marketing.”

“Being a small business owner is hard. We cannot compete with Wal-mart or Target or Amazon. But we can offer individualized customer service,” reflected Brand, who also owns Clay Street Boutique. 

It can be difficult to network, plan and execute any type of event while juggling the demands and duties that come with running a small business. 

“"We want to work together but we are all busy," expressed Brand. "And that's where MASBA comes in. As an organization we have a birds eye view of what’s happening with the small business community. We can see the needs as the season change and we can organize event and education opportunities that a lot of the time the owners don’t have time to do, even thought they want to.”

MASBA is currently hosting the community Christmas Open House that ends this Saturday as well as the Artisan Gift Market that will be held at the Marshfield Community Center on Saturday from 9-3.

The next event scheduled is planned for the Spring where MASBA will host the first Marshfield Spring Expo to feature business’s like: lawn care, landscaping, construction and more. The event will be an opportunity for these service type businesses to display their abilities and skills in front of potential customers.

“Our events are about bringing business owners and prospective customers face to face; expanding the opportunities businesses and customers have to meet each other,” explained Brand. “In addition to events we will also be hosting quarterly education opportunities for business owners that feature subject matter experts. It’s import for small business owners to have the opportunity to learn about things they need to know right now: how to create a Facebook reel, how much do hashtags matter, are you filing your taxes appropriately-are you getting all your write-offs; those are the things that matter to small business owners.”

MASBA membership tiers include: Facebook promotion, Facebook Lives with board members, event and open house access, free education lunches every quarter and a high quality promotional video created for each individual business. *Membership benefits are on a tiered basis and not all benefits come with all tiers.

The MASBA board meets monthly the third Monday of each month. The current board members are: Amber Brand, President; Joseph Mitchell, Vice President; Crystal Hilton, Secretary; Jason Hankins, Treasurer; Robbie Tackett, Board Member; Tabatha Clift, Board Member; Amanda Stroup, Advisory Member.

If you are interested in becoming a member of MASBA, visit the organizations Facebook page or contact the organization via email at: marshfieldareasmallbusiness@gmail.com

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