This December, I thought I’d share my letter to Santa. I’ve heard that Santa likes to work with entrepreneurial support groups because he often has to outsource some of his toy production and he wants good, solid entrepreneurial companies to buy from.
Wish No. 1: More clients.
EntrePaducah exists to serve entrepreneurs in our community. We love working with people who come in with business ideas, but need help with planning their business.
It’s extremely gratifying when we see an entrepreneur’s “light bulb moment” occur, and they realize that the knowledge to start a small business is literally at their fingertips with a call to EntrePaducah. Santa, we’d like more “light bulb moments” please.
Wish No. 2: More jobs for the area.
Santa, our bet is that you’re seeing some pretty touching letters this year from boys and girls whose mommy or daddy doesn’t have a job. I guess what we’re really wishing for is a more stable economy that will give companies the confidence to expand and create more jobs.
Luckily, you grant wishes from around the world so feel free to spend a little extra time in Greece, the Middle East, and China on the economy stabilization thing. Santa, if we could just get our region in the low single digits of unemployment in 2012, we’d be extremely grateful.
Wish No. 3: Continued support for EntrePaducah.
All we ask for this one Santa is to continue to have the opportunity to prove our worthiness to our supporters. EntrePaducah’s primary mission, as mentioned in the first wish, is to help entrepreneurs.
We do, however, try to do so much more. In addition to helping startup businesses, we also counsel existing businesses on how to make their companies stronger and sustain their workforce. Business planning, marketing advice, franchise consultation, mentor connections, and financial resources are all part of what we do daily. We’re very thankful to the City of Paducah, McCracken Fiscal Court, Paducah Economic Development, Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Kentucky Office of Commercialization & Innovation for their strategic and financial support of EntrePaducah.
Wish No. 4: The formation of a local Angel Investment Group.
This could be an easy one Santa. We know that a lot of people are only getting lumps of coal from their investments in recent years. This has resulted in a number of communities forming Angel Investment Groups as a place for discretionary investments.
We certainly have the entrepreneurs who could use small Angel loans to start their businesses and create jobs. We would be happy to do most of the legwork, but we need you to help us find people to help champion the cause. Maybe dropping this issue of the Four Rivers Business Journal in a lot of stockings would help.
Wish No. 5: More innovative ideas.
Santa, we’re blessed with many creative minds in this area. As you’re working on wish No. 1 (more clients), feel free to give them really innovative ideas that can be commercialized. We know this is a tough one. We work very hard all year trying to promote creative thinking at all levels, students to adults. We just know that we can be home to the next big thing in any field, technology or otherwise, as long as people are thinking creatively about innovation.
Wish No. 6: Good weather.
We realize this is a major intangible, and more of Mother Nature’s area of expertise, but any influence you have would be appreciated. Beginning with the first big ice storm a few years ago, then the BIG ice storm, then the floods this spring, our local businesses have taken some major hits. These events slow the economy to a crawl, often at percentages that are almost impossible to make up. Just one calm year would be nice and please, don’t forget our neighbors in Joplin, Mo., and Birmingham, Ala.
That’s our wish list for 2012. Oh, and Santa, if you ever want to start any businesses on the side — like maybe a flight school, reindeer obedience school, automated stocking stuffing — keep EntrePaducah in mind. We’re at 401 Kentucky Avenue in Paducah.
Terry Reeves is the concierge for EntrePaducah, a joint effort by Paducah and McCracken County governments, the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce and Greater Paducah Economic Development Council to foster small-business growth. Contact him at 270-443-1746 or firstname.lastname@example.org.