Experts from the University of Georgia encourage more risks for - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Experts from the University of Georgia encourage more risks for small businesses

By Mackenzie Patterson - email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Experts from the University of Georgia said that big risks can equal big payoffs when it comes to small businesses reaping the benefits from Georgia's economic future.

Today at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center local businesses gathered to hear Dean Robert Sumichrast of the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business, Jeff Humphreys, director of UGA's Selig Center for Economic Growth, and Mike Gaymon, president of the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and Steve Melton, CEO of Columbus Bank and Trust Co.

Dean Sumichrast emphasized that the most import thing for small business owners to do in order to get the most out of forecasted economic growth is to take more risks.

The Blue Door Boutique in Columbus is experiencing some unexpected growth.  Compared to January last year, their sales are up by 51%.  Amber Mordic has owned her boutique for about 5.5 years.  She said when she saw the increase in sales, she could not believe it.

"I double checked the numbers thinking this can't be right," Mordic explained.

 She said this shows that this shows consumers are changing the way they are behaving.

"From what we've seen here at the store is that customers, they are definitely more willing to spend," Mordic said.

Dean Sumichrast said gross domestic product growth is transitioning to be based on consumer demand similar to the demand Mordic is seeing in her store.  He also said spending will continue to increase in 2011.  Therefore, he encouraged small business owners, like Mordic, to take more risks in order to see the benefit from the economic recovery that began in 2009.

"I think for the small business owner this is a time to consider making an investment either to create this new business or to expand.  This is a time when you can consider hiring," explained Sumichrast.

Also, Sumichrast said the job market will get a little better this year.

"We'll see more sectors hiring.  It's still not going to be great.  Probably a little over 40,000 jobs will be created statewide," said Sumichrast.

Dean Sumichrast also said there is an 80% chance that the nation and the state will not slip into another recession during the recovery.

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