More south Georgians become their own bosses - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

More south Georgians become their own bosses

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Since the first of the year, 135 new businesses have applied for licenses in Albany.   That's up from last year, and many of those new business owners decided to become entrepreneurs after losing their jobs.

They're adding to the tax base and helping the economy.

In a tough economy and job market Cathy McLeod has found treasure. She opened Treasure Island Consignment Store three weeks ago off Westover Boulevard.  "Starting something new, you never really know is it's going to fail or succeed," said McLeod.

It's that same tough economy that could actually send customers into Treasure Island. "With today's economy people are looking for a place to go to be able to buy clothes and furniture and home decor at good prices."

Colby Wiggins is betting on it too, the same week he opened his own business oasis. Wiggins Oasis Express Wash, value car wash, with prices between five and 14 dollars hopes to also attract value-conscious customers.

"You see a lot of them dropping their prices to five dollars, you can get a five dollar sandwich, you can get a dollar value meal at some places and this is just along that same concept that make people money stretch out a little longer," he said.

While small businesses like the Cruz Thru drive thru convenience store that opened last week won't bring hundreds or even 20 jobs, in its own small way it help the city's tax base.

"It does add up, but unfortunately it doesn't bring the type of dollars that larger industries do," said Deputy Finance Director Kimberly Carter.

Larger industries bring in large suppliers and other supplementary ancillary industries to support them. It has created jobs for the five women running the business who were recently laid off from their jobs at a health care company.

Albany earned the designation of an entrepreneur friendly community several years ago. You can get information to help you start a business plus other programs and resources at the Micro-Business Center.

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