“This year has gone by so quick I actually even looked at my own license and I was like, ‘Oh my God! I only have a couple of days,” exclaimed Melanie Taylor, owner of Unique Vision Hair Salon and The Stepping Stone.
As many businesses in the River Region renew their licenses, new businesses can start applying for their permits on January 1, 2019.
Taylor said, “I’ve had a lot of people tell me I make it look easy but behind closed doors, it’s a lot of strategic, paperwork stuff. You got to make sure you stay on stuff being expired so you can turn it in. Cosmetology stuff, you got to make sure you get your CU hours in so that you can renew that license because each license has a process.”
Once an up and coming businesswoman, Taylor decided in 2016 to create a transitional center for small businesses in the CSRA.
“It’s turned into something way bigger than what I actually just thought it was going to be, just stylists and barbers,” she explained.
The Stepping Stone is home to a catering company, a tax office, nail salon, and med spa as a starting point.
“Within this facility, I have people that probably started off really small in there home or are ready to venture out and so this is like the place where you can do that next step. This is where you would come and build more clientele. Get more exposure professionally,” said Taylor.
The Stepping Stone is a for-profit organization but also has a non-profit component serving eager students.
Taylor said, “They get to see what it can be because when you’re in the classroom you have all these dreams but you really don’t know what steps to take to get to that point.”
Taylor wants to build the CSRA community.
She added, “This is a small business city if you want to be honest. We’re not really big corporately owned like that and if we continue to push people and coach people into wanting to start a business we’ll have different stuff that’s going to create more revenue and generate all this stuff for the city as a whole.”