New business owner overcoming the economy - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

New business owner overcoming the economy

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CLINTON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Kristy Fuller is an interior designer by trade. Now she spends time teaching painting classes in the back of her antique shop, T'ost and Found, in Clinton.

"Color and paint, that's what I love. So, I wanted to incorporate that into my business" said Fuller.

After a few years away from design Fuller decided to take a chance on a new career. She wanted to make the start up business as diverse as possible.

"When the house market bottoms out, that's when the designers are looking for work" added Fuller. "They're looking for other ways to do what they're trained to do, but yet there are no houses to design and to decorate."

Fuller will be the only employee for now, to keep costs at a minimum. Which is not an unusual move.

The Center for Policy Research and Planning of the Institutions of Higher Learning recently released a report analyzing the state's economic future.

Unemployment is expected to gradually decline over the next three years from an average of 9.4% to 7.9% by 2015, according to the report.

Meaning it could be 2018 before the state will have the same amount of people working as it did in 2007.

Small business growth was limited for ten years, 2000-2010, but could be improving as the economy turns around.

There are more retail stores than professional service businesses in the state.

Mississippi ranks at the bottom in access to high speed Internet and venture capital. IHL economists say those factors hurt business growth.

It's an issue the Clinton Chamber of Commerce has witnessed as well.

"I have heard several businesses in expansion mode that were unable to get capital they needed to expand," said Clinton Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors President Clay Mansell.

The chamber has a new investment group called Clinton Investment Group to help fill the start up money gap some businesses face and encourage owners to manage their cash more wisely.

"I think it's the new economy. I don't think it's gonna be going to the bank for everything, anymore. You're gonna have to think outside the box to make your business work," said Mansell.

He says Clinton was impacted by the economic recession but not to the same degree as other cities in the state.

Mississippi has seen areas of economic improvement in construction, manufacturing, and retail sales in the most recent numbers available to the IHL.

You can read the IHL report here: www.mississippi.edu/URC

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