One year in. Keeping the Dream alive

Kevin Song
Published on February 7, 2023

Let’s face it. Last year wasn’t easy for anyone.

But at withco we did our best to stay the course. Even when that meant making tough choices when easier ones were available. Even when it meant forcefully adapting our young business to face the difficult and uncertain times ahead. Even when it meant parting ways with talented staff we had once dreamed of working alongside. And even when we occasionally had to stop amid the chaos and ask ourselves; ‘Why the hell are we doing this again?’

365 days later, the answer has not changed. Small business entrepreneurs represent the best in us. They should rightfully own the buildings they operate out of. They should be beneficiaries, and not victims, of their own success. Their dreams are still worth fighting for.

So we continue to see them as role models and emulate them. To embrace their same grit and embody their same tenacity. Because they deserve to have someone working just as hard on the other end of the phone. 

In our attempt to match their entrepreneurial spirit, we managed to pull off an incredible year. A year whose last quarter saw double the transaction volume of the previous two years combined. A year where we sold our first properties for gain. A year that saw our small team rise to the occasion time and time again, holding our bar high and ourselves accountable. A year where we proudly “said yes” to mavericks like Charles and Lauren, Tayler and Rett, Mitch, Joe, Wes and dozens more. And kept fighting to keep the big dream of small business alive in America. 

But in spite of leaving it all on the field, we have more work to do. Because this was also a year where we painfully had to “say no” to 1,033 entrepreneurs asking for a shot to protect their efforts. A year when we had to admit to ourselves that, even with the best of intentions, we still couldn’t help most who came knocking. A year that made us realize that we’ll need to lay more groundwork to help more entrepreneurs stand their ground and see their vision through. Because our country that once prided itself on being the place that helped these kinds of people roll up their sleeves and seize the opportunity in front of them, now only seems to back big corporations that rack up the advantages and pull up the ladder behind them. 

We know we have our work cut out for us. But we also know we’re cut out for this work. We know we must lose sleep so others can keep dreaming. We know that no matter what unique challenges this year brings, the results we’ll get to share with you next year will be worth it. Not just for the businesses we serve, but for all of us. Because small businesses don’t just make for ideal communities. They represent the very ideals that formed this country. And we believe that the American Dream, which these days seems distant, still exists inside their doors. So we’re going to fight like hell to keep them open. 

Here’s to a big year for small business in 2023.

One year ago we shared Kevin's Founder's Letter, an inside look to his family's story and the inspiration behind withco. Learn more about our story.

Read our Founder's Letter