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Sam's Spotlight 8/25/21: Why It Matters

As an economic developer, I try to embrace the role of an educator. I try to educate you each week through this spotlight on things involved with economic development because many people still do not understand what all economic development entails. To be very honest, I am still learning myself! For this week’s spotlight, I want to focus on Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development and how important they are to the impact of a community’s economic development.

Entrepreneurs create wealth in a community - for themselves, for the people they employ, and for the local economy. Today’s small businesses are the innovators and job generators of tomorrow. We must make sure that we are cultivating these people and helping them thrive in our community. Here are a few ways that I as an economic developer, along with support from our Winnsboro Main Street Economic Committee, can offer support to our small businesses and entrepreneurs: help with business plan development; guide and help connect for financing, marketing, and product development; assist with grant and loan applications; educate on hiring, training, and managing staff. If you need some guidance with any of these areas, please let me help you! I will be glad to do the research and make sure to get the information you need to help make your business successful.

I came across some interesting facts when doing research for this article, and I want to share some of those with you. Nearly all net new jobs are generated by firms that are one to five years old. Not only do new businesses create jobs and opportunities - but they also bring in new tax revenues, lowering the burden on residents. And growing businesses are more likely to stay where they launch - in the community that nurtured their growth and where they are well connected. Small businesses also participate in civic groups and community initiatives, help diversify the local economy, and enliven and revitalize neighborhoods and downtowns. (Source:

So, you see the economic developer’s role is to work with other service providers in a community to help entrepreneurs and small business owners overcome obstacles to business growth and development. One of my goals is to be available to help with your obstacles and help you grow, ultimately growing our Franklin Parish community. In supporting entrepreneurship, we can create new business formation, survival, and growth, and produce job creation, economic growth, and innovation. That is the goal I am working towards, but I need your help to accomplish it! That is why all this matters. I love this quote by Mark Twain that says, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” I hope this encourages you to get started if you have been thinking about something. I am proud of you if you have already begun. Let us all support one another and remember why it matters for our community.

See you next week for Sam’s Spotlight!

Sam Sheppard

Franklin Parish Economic Development Coordinator


Follow us on Instagram and Facebook! @franklinparish.econdev

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