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bus300.jpg Submitted by WWAY on Thu, 09/18/2008 - 5:00pm.

With big business struggling on Wall Street and a slow economy, new small businesses are becoming popular. With bigger businesses in our area more cautious to hire, small businesses are increasing in numbers. Jeannie Carriker Skane just registered her own small business, something she says might not have happened if not for the slow economy. “I've gotten a lot of the same answer. We love your skills, we'd love to have you on our team, we just don't have enough work to hire someone right now. So my thought was how about if the community shares me,” Skane said. According to UNCW professor Jonathan Rowe, more than 70 percent of businesses in southeast North Carolina have fewer than 10 employees. New small businesses account for 75 percent of all new jobs. Despite a slower economy, these businesses helped the local economy increase by 7 percent last year. “Even in the real estate industry that's shrunk a lot in this area, your seeing a lot of opportunities for green building and environmental products,” Rowe said. Skane hopes to take advantage of that trend. Skane said, “I want to facilitate the green building process and make it easier for the people that have the ideas and the passion for it, to get it to the stage where it's going to be certified and add value to their product.” Small businesses like Skane's have helped deal with the economic slow down in our area. "We are seeing less layoff because a lot of the larger corporations that are making job cuts are not in southeast North Carolina. A lot of the businesses are not being as dramatically affected," Rowe said. But Rowe said Wall Street struggles have put a bit of a strain on local small businesses. "So now that you see banks being a lot more choosy in who they lend money to, it is becoming a little harder for entrepreneurs and new business owners, or even existing business owners, to get loans," said Rowe. Be careful though, new small business owners often start-up too fast and do not have a proper business plan which has lead to nearly 90 percent of new businesses failing within the first year.

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