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Small businesses key to American economy

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January 23, 2004

Albany- With chicken wings and fried bologna sandwiches, Xavier Morris is ending his first week of living out a He recently opened Zay's X-treme Wings &BBQ on South Jefferson Street.

"I've been wanting to do this basically all my life," Morris said. "Ever since I got out of high school I've wanted to open up a restaurant."

A week into the work, he's still whimsical, but also a dream. little wiser.

"Being the owner, watching this, watching that and cooking at the same time. I tell you it's not easy."

Owning and running a small business never is. But making them work, which in Morris' case means selling hot wings, is important to America.

That's why the Small Business Development Center is here. In classes like this or in one on one consultations, the center can help you do the research and planning that may make your dream job work.

"Before they make that decision to quit a job, to go in there and tell the boss off, before they burn their bridges, they need to know exactly what is involved," said Sue Ford, a regional director for the SBDC.

Because small businesses are involved in a strong US economy. There are more than 22 million businesses in this country. Almost 99 percent are small businesses.

"Let's face it," Ford said. "When you're in a community that's got a lot of small businesses, the diversity is there so if one business closed down it doesn't just destroy the local economy."

So if you want to work for yourself, it may be worth the risk. But Morris has some advice.

"Take their time, don't rush it, make sure this is what they want to do."

This is just what Morris wants to do. Not just selling wings, but living out his dream.

updated at 10:00 AM by brannon.stewart@walb.com