Area Small Business Industry Has “A Lot Of Momentum”

By Jena Sauber
St. Joseph News-Press, Mo.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Rebecca Lobina, director of the Small Business and Technology Development Center in St. Joseph Missouri says there is “a lot of momentum” for business development in St. Joseph. Lobina describes how a smaller community is doing its part to foster entrepreneurship.

St. Joseph News-Press, Mo.

Korey Massey, owner and manager of The Mark-It, gets to see her fair share of small business start-ups.

“We have a lot of people who are just starting out their businesses and come in here for shirts or something like that,” Massey said, “and they ask us a lot of questions like ‘What do you suggest we get involved in?'”

The Mark-It is one of a growing number of local businesses in St. Joseph, creating what Rebecca Lobina, director of the Small Business and Technology Development Center, calls “a lot of momentum.”

Multiple St. Joseph agencies, including the SBTDC and the Heartland Foundation, are working toward supporting and developing the growth of small businesses in community and surrounding areas.

“Instead of people leaving to start their business or going to work for somebody else, they’ve decided to stay here and start their own businesses here,” Lobina said. “We have an environment here that has a lot right here in somebody’s backyard that does help make us more successful.”

In fall 2016, a FiveThirtyEight report ranked St. Joseph fifth in the nation for the number of start-up businesses launched since 2014, with 171. The U.S. Business Administration estimates that there were approximately 23 million small businesses across the country as of 2015, an increase of 49 percent since 1982.

“Small businesses are the ones that are here to stay,” Lobina said. “They are the ones that their corporate decisions are made right here in St. Joseph. Those businesses that only have five, 10, 20 employees, they are more likely to stay local and continue to grow and support other local companies.”

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