Small business makes big impact

Published 12:03 am Monday, April 1, 2013

How often do we hear that job creation is the answer to all our economic woes? Just about as often we hear that small businesses are the engines of job creation! So just how valuable are they, and what role do they really play in our economy? The truth is that there’s nothing “small” about the impact that “small” businesses have on our economy and therefore our daily lives!

Entrepreneur Magazine has reported recently that there are between 25 million and 27 million small businesses in the United States and that they account for 60 to 80 percent of all the jobs in our country. Also, a recent study by Paychex indicated that, in the world of patents, small businesses produce 13 times more than larger firms.

So what does all this mean to those of us in the Miss-Lou and southwest Mississippi? It means that we must all work together to ensure that small businesses are getting the resources they need to succeed, grow and thrive!

Email newsletter signup

Our region is considered to be the home of a wealth of extremely creative people, and it’s no secret that creative people contribute in major numbers to today’s economy and the sustainability of a healthy economy in the future. It is critical that these visionaries have the right climate for entrepreneurial encouragement. That climate must include access to capital, business advisors, business education, and business support services. That climate must feed ambition and self confidence and encourage those who are willing to take a leap of faith!

So let’s all get together and do it! A partnership consisting of Natchez, Inc., Alcorn State University and Mississippi Development Authority is dedicated to focusing on some exciting new steps in the right direction. On April 5 and 6, the Entrepreneur Academy will kick off its second free small business development training course at the Alcorn State University Technology Center in downtown Natchez. In November 2012, this Entrepreneur Academy graduated 29 potential entrepreneurs, and already more than twelve businesses have been created.

On April 23, this same partnership will host the regional “Entrepreneurial Explosion: A Small Business Summit” at the Natchez Convention Center starting at 8:30 a.m. This event is also free and will bring together experts from the federal, state and local region who will share information on how to turn a dream into a successful money-making reality. Lunch will be provided.

It’s been said that a “dream” is just a paycheck waiting for a business plan! So let’s all get behind these efforts and turn our very special corner of the world into a magnet for small, creative businesses. Let’s make our community “small business friendly.” We’ll be glad we did!

For more information, contact Natchez, Inc. at 601-445-0288 or e-mail Chris Hinton at or me at


Ruth Nichols is the assistant vice president for educational and community partnerships at Alcorn State University.