Better East Texas: Importance of supporting small business

(KLTV) - If you drive around east Texas, it is easy to the results of population growth and a pro-business state economic climate.  We have heard it for years that Texas is at or near the top nationally in businesses moving to the state and becoming a world force in the economy.  But there is a price when big chains and multi-location retailers come to a market.  And that price can be the cannibalization of existing small businesses.

Now, it doesn't happen all the time and the larger retailers are not necessarily evil in their designs but they do have an impact on small businesses.  It is a challenge to start a small business.  Statistics show that fifty percent of small businesses will fail in the first 5 years.  But many do succeed.  It is through the hard work, perseverance and sacrifice of their owners that small, locally owned businesses can live on.

And they don't just provide an income or job for their owners.  Small businesses hire locally.  They make up fifty-five percent of all jobs in the US.  So, even in this generally robust economy with new construction and new open signs popping up daily, we still need to shop local whenever we can.  Small business owners are taking the risk and sometimes filling a gap that larger businesses cannot, so as retail spending loads up for spring and tax refunds make their way back into our pockets, spend local whenever you can.  It will help our local economy and inspire others to take the chance and start a business, and that will make for a better East Texas.

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