Small businesses driving state economy - - The News for South Mississippi

Small businesses driving state economy

RIDGELAND, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

If you own, work in or shop at a small business in Mississippi, you're helping to drive one of the most important sectors in the state's economy. That's according to a report put out by the Delta Regional Authority.

Stapleton says, "Main street is really driving job creation and sustainability."

The report points out locally owned small businesses in the Delta created about 90 percent of all new net jobs during the past two decades. The authority's federal co-chairman, Chris Masingill, says that type of footprint needs to be expanded.

"We've got to increase the opportunities for people to own their own businesses," said Masingill.

Ron Aldrige agrees. As state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, he says that type of result illustrates the driving force of the small business community.

"We always look a lot of times at huge economic development projects. It's time to look at what is really the cornerstone and really the foundation of Mississippi's economy and that's small business," said Aldrige.

Currently Aldrige says small businesses make up 96 percent of all business, employing more than half of the state's workforce. With those numbers, Aldrige says it takes a small business to attract a large one.

"If you'll build up that small business base first, you'll reap the benefits of getting those larger ones in the long run," said Aldrige.

Even in tough economic times both Masingill and Aldrige say small businesses tend to prevail over large companies.

"Small businesses have been the job creators in the past and the job creators of the present and they're going to be the job creators of the future," said Masingill. "We feel like it's a very good environment for small businesses."

With the report, Masingill says the authority will partner with economic, business and civic leaders to make sure that environment hangs around.

The report comes with November as National Entrepreneurship Month and with Small Business Saturday just a few days away.

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