With Bryan and College Station poised for major growth in the next decade, small business will certainly not be the only business in town. But with big operations poised to arrive, experts say small business survival is necessary.
As many big businesses now dot the landscape, a large number on small business stands out.
"Our economy is based up on and is driven by those 98 percent of businesses out there that are small businesses," said Governor Rick Perry at Thursday's small business summit.
The latest numbers from the US Small Business Administration show a thriving environment for employers of 500 or less. Some 1.8 million small businesses were last counted in Texas, with increased numbers of women- and minority-owned businesses, and new businesses employing people.
In the Twin Cities moreso than most Texas communities, there is a small business stronghold, according to Jim Pillans with the small business development center.
"Part of that reason is we don't have any large manufacturing plants, chemical plants or petro-chemical operations," Pillans said, "so we've always depended much more on small businesses here."
Many changes are coming down the pike. It's not just the roads that are expanding for people. Business will all but assuredly boom as well. Developments popping up along the road now are but a sign of things to come. But those plots on the road come at a price for the most visible spots in town.
"Will that hurt small business," asked PIllans. "It will, in a sense, because the small business owner, in general, doesn't have the money it takes to go out there and buy the real estate."
So the key to small business success in a growing community?
"If I'm a small business owner and I can do something better than the big stores that are out there, then I think that I have a place in this market," Pillans said.
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