New business

Thursday, January 28, 2010

We are accustomed, after months of recession, to hearing every bit of positive economic news hedged by cautionary statements that allow for even more bad news. Unemployment claims dipped -- but it will take years to replace lost jobs. Housing prices show signs of recovery -- but thousands of homeowners still face foreclosure. Stock markets have risen more than 60 percent since last year's bottom -- but this bubble may burst.

Against this backdrop, there is some bright news in Cape Girardeau: In 2009, 168 businesses opened and 47 closed, reversing the trend of the previous two years when more businesses closed than opened.

The owners of these new businesses face a maze of factors that will have an impact on their success rate: higher minimum wages, ever-increasing government regulations, finding financial backing to sustain them until they are established enough to make a profit.

There is something to be said for these risk-takers who are finding innovative ways to create and fill new markets. As one owner of a startup business commented: "It's definitely not business as usual."

Keeping these businesses afloat will require a solid customer base. Supporting new businesses is one way of strengthening the community's economic base. Good luck to all these enterprising efforts.

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