Since becoming the first non-profit economic development corporation in 1989, The Development Corporation of Abilene has worked to promote the creation of new and expanded industry. Abilene thrives when the small business community is successful — this empowers local small business owners to support and cheer for each other which ultimately boosts the economy as a whole.
Resources like the Texas Tech Small Business Development Center works to empower local entrepreneurs through low- and no-cost counseling and training services. The SBDC offers a wide variety of assistance, ranging from helping organizations achieve financial literacy to educating on the art of reaching consumers in an online marketplace.
Abilene recognizes that managing a successful small business is no small feat, and the community proudly works to support local businesses. One initiative the city has implemented with small business owners in mind is Small Business Saturday, which takes place right after Black Friday and encourages the community to kick off their holiday shopping supporting the local economy.
Vital local businesses and entrepreneurs are spotlighted during the Abilene Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Week. Peer recognition awards such as New Business of the Year, Small Business Community Investment Award, and Family-Owned Business of the Year aim to acknowledge a few of Abilene’s valuable community businesses.
Texas’ tax policies, predictable regulatory climate and skilled talent availability has earned the state the title of best business climate in the nation. Additional support resources for venture capital and funding are provided to the 2.8 million small businesses that call Texas home.
Angel investor networks throughout Texas provide equity investment to entrepreneurs to help fund start-ups and young businesses. The Alliance of Texas Angel Networks has invested over $200,000,000 to start-ups in the state over the last 10 years. Various state and federal grants are also available to small business owners to help incentivize training for new, full-time workers, upgrade the skills of existing full-time workers, and provide overall financial support.
In 2020, there were 710,215 minority business owners in Texas, and the state has consistently been recognized as #1 for jobs created by African American, Hispanic and Veteran women business owners. In addition to support provided on a state and federal level, minority business owners in Abilene can benefit from community-based organizations like local chambers of commerce. For over 40 years, members of the Abilene Black Chamber of Commerce have benefitted from the chamber’s networking, scholarship, and job training resources, among other services and initiatives. Similarly, the Abilene Hispanic Business Council works to facilitate the advancement and participation of Hispanic businesses by promoting education, training, advocacy and networking.
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