Entrepreneurs start up in record numbers in Deep East Texas

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 10:30 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - According to the U.S. Census Bureau the pace for new business applications is the highest on record. The same trend is seen right here in Deep East Texas.

Independent nurse practitioner Judd Williamson hung his shingle in March 2021 in the Lufkin medical district.

In going over the day’s appointment list he comments, “Looks like a pretty good day.”

Better than when the Lufkin health provider lost his job during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today he’s among the growing number of entrepreneurs taking a leap of faith to move out on their own.

“Having lost my job, opened the door for me to actually be able to that by pushing me in this direction. I kinda really felt like, at that point, I didn’t have a choice but to open my own business,” said Williamson, who wears blue jeans, cowboy boots and decorated his new clinic by shopping at Tractor Supply.

Williamson is working toward a promising future with the help of family encouragement and assistant Marcie Brown. She quit a steady job to join her former coworker of four years.

“I’m here to back him 100%,” said Brown, who Williamson describes as ‘awesome.’

Then there was guidance from the Small Business Development Center.

“Since January, we’ve had over 90 people apply to request services here at Angelina College SBDC,” said Dianne Amerine, director of SBDC. “And when I check with our region that seems to be happening region wide.”

Williamson knows how to provide primary care. He got his associate degree nursing at Angelina College and his master of nursing at Texas A&M, Corpus Christi. Plus he has years of working in a clinical setting.

He wasn’t reluctant to seek guidance on the daunting task of being an owner and operator.

“The financial aspects of starting up a business. On trying to figure out where my break-even points would be. What my expenses were gonna be,” said Williamson.

Businesses that do the research on restructuring their services are most likely to succeed, according to Amerine.

“My job is to punch holes in your plan and see if we can find why it would not work. Because a lot of businesses do not succeed.”

Williamson is optimistic. His new patient list is growing. “We got 14 in the last three days.”

You can visit his website here.

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