• Lisa D. Mares

Small Businesses make a Big Impact in the Lone Star State

Of the Top 15 Most Entrepreneurial U.S. cities, not one - but three Texas metropolitan areas - are ranked among the Top Ten. These metro areas are:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth (ranked no. 4),

  • Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown (ranked no. 5), and

  • Austin (ranked no. 8).

Texas owes its welcoming business environment to a number of "business enhancers." For instance, Texas businesses have a relatively lower tax burden due to an absence of corporate income tax, individual income tax, and state property tax. Favorable state regulations, strong population growth in metro areas, and diverse industries (technology, construction, health, retail, and hospitality) also support small and growing businesses.

Federal, state, and local business resource centers also help entrepreneurs to tackle barriers. In north Texas small businesses overcome barriers to accessing capital by taking advantage of state and federal programs, such as loans backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration and contracting set asides for certified small businesses, HUB Zone certified small businesses, service-disabled Veteran-Owned small businesses, and Women-Owned small businesses. Educational programs, counseling, mentorships, and workshops offered by SCORE, local economic development corporations, the Dallas Entrepreneur center, and chambers of commerce offer additional assistance and resources.

The combination of business enhancers, state and federal programs, and local resources are helping small businesses to make a big impact in Dallas-Fort Worth, where the total amount of small business loans backed by the SBA has exceeded one billion dollars in 2016 and 2017. SBA-backed loans in north Texas that were made during the first quarter of 2018 have already exceeded $325 million. This amount surpasses loans made during the first quarter of 2017, and is an early indicator that small businesses will continue to impact north Texas in 2018.

While innovators and entrepreneurs are taking advantage of north Texas' healthy small business climate, small business owners should also protect assets and limit liability by forming a business organization, drafting governance documents, critically reviewing vendor and customer contracts, and implementing policies and procedures that address regulatory requirements. If you run a small business, you can get advice on issues such as marketing, financing, workplace laws, and branding, via a free virtual conference hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the SCORE Association during National Small Business Week, April 29-May 5, 2018. You can also follow this blog for articles on legal issues facing small and growing businesses.

About Lisa D. Mares: Lisa D. Mares is an attorney at the Mares Law Firm, PLLC. She is a member of the Northeast Tarrant Chamber of Commerce. She loves sharing stories about the trials and triumphs of raising three daughters with her husband, as well as about her experience as a Camp Fire Fort Worth volunteer. Contact Lisa at info@mareslawfirm.com or learn more about her law firm at www.MaresLawFirm.com.

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