Researcher shares job creation data at Chamber of Commerce event

Sunday, March 4, 2012

New employment trend data shows that small businesses are responsible for the greatest amount of local job growth, according to Dr. James Stapleton, executive director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University.

The Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce hosted its First Friday Coffee event at the Show Me Center on Friday morning, sponsored by the UPS Store and Hendrickson Business Advisors, and Stapleton shared his research about where jobs are being created locally.

Stapleton uses information from the National Establishment Time-Series database, or NETS, which has profiled and tracked more than 41 million businesses since 1990. NETS allows researchers to pinpoint what kinds of businesses have been established or have closed and which are relocating, expanding or shrinking.

Looking at how the job market has rebounded from the recession in 2008, Stapleton said not enough jobs are being created overall to offset job loss caused by businesses that are downsizing or closing. Recovery has been slower recently than after the recessions in 1990 and 2000, he said.

Missouri is "really behind in entrepreneurial activity" compared to surrounding states, Stapleton said, and it has relied on large employers. One reason new business activity is stalled is the difficulty of securing startup capital. Although interest rates are low, regulatory restrictions prevent lenders from lending money as easily as they did in the past. One attendee described the guidelines bankers have to follow in making lending decisions as "oppressive."

On the upside, local small businesses that have managed to survive and grow despite the hard times of the last few years provide about 40 percent of jobs in the region. Stapleton said those small employers have grown overall in job creation, compared to large local and nonlocal industries that have steadily shed jobs.

Another area of the employment landscape that has grown has been self-employment, Stapleton said. However, many workers have been pushed into finding their own opportunities due to a lack of alternatives, often at a significant loss of benefits and income.

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship provides prospective and existing businesses with mentorship and counseling to help them get started, expand and evaluate their performance. It will offer courses in 2012 in Cape Girardeau, Piedmont, Park Hills, Sikeston, Perryville, Charleston, Potosi, Kennett and Poplar Bluff.

salderman@semissourian.com

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Pertinent address:

1333 N. Sprigg St., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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