Governor’s Small Business Forum in Nacogdoches focuses on entrepreneurship

Governor’s Small Business Forum in Nacogdoches focuses on entrepreneurship
Updated: Aug. 15, 2019 at 6:31 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The Governor’s Small Business Forum in Nacogdoches on Thursday served business owners, but in the end, it will be the customer who benefits.

Travel through any business district and you’re likely to see more small businesses than anything else. Governor Gregg Abbott reports more than nine in 10 businesses are small businesses.

Texas Workforce Commission chair Ruth Hughs explained how well-advised employers can equal satisfied customers.

“They’re feeding into our economy, and we want to make sure that we help them to continue to grow,” Hughs said. "Every type of service that one needs is provided by a small business or their vendors to larger businesses.”

So, taking care of small business is important. Nacogdoches Economic Development CEO Larrissa Philpot spotted a trend.

“There’s been kinda a growth in that entrepreneurial spirit. People seem to be excited to go out on their own and start their own business,” Philpot said. “I don’t know if that’s a generational thing or if it’s a current economic cycle, but it’s good for Nacogdoches.”

You may not find those business operators in the traditional setting. NacSpace, a remote office space and data center, will open for tenants by October. Its CEO, Phil Hale, was a panel advisor on technology and data security.

“You could definitely see an interest, and they were asking questions about everything from passwords to backups and options,” Hale shared. “So, there’s definitely a high level of interest.”

About 160 registered guests first heard from Carter Sterling, the CEO of Sterling Site Access Solutions.

It’s a manufacturer of temporary roads. Full production at its Lufkin location, with close to 100 employees, could start as early as November. Second shift starts by December.

Sterling advised listeners that caring is the core of a successful business.

“I can tell you that the fact that I do care, my employees care because I care. So, as an organization, care,” Sterling advised.

Caring is what today's forum also showed small businesses. They are credited for being the backbone of the economy and the provider of service.

There will be more governor’s forums across Texas and East Texas. Go to for schedules.

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