Small business summit touts Kyle’s growth

About 20 small business owners from Kyle, such as Amy Dolan, (right) owner of the Inn Above Onion Creek Bed & Breakfast, learned about resources available to them at the Small Business Resource Summit, held at the historic Kyle City Hall last Thursday. (Photo by Kim Hilsenbeck)

by KIM HILSENBECK

Kyle has seen a 427 percent growth in the past decade and more growth is expected. This is according to the speakers at the recent Small Business Resource Summit held at Kyle Historic City Hall.

Kyle Economic Development, Kyle Area Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Texas Workforce Solutions and several other agencies collaborated to bring the summit to town.

Kyle Economic Development Director Diana Blank told the audience that her staff of two work hard to provide business development opportunities.

“The goal of our office is to create new tax dollars to lessen the burden on residents while improving the quality of life for Kyle’s citizens,” Blank said.

Programs from summit presenters included low-interest financing, employee training, set-aside contracting opportunities and hiring resources.

With the projected business and residential development, Kyle is ripe for launching a venture. But funding and resources are still scarce – a hangover from the economic recession – making it more challenging for people to start their own company or expand an existing one.

About 20 local business owners, or potential owners, attended the summit, including Alan McPherson of Kyle. He is the chairperson of Kyle’s Economic Development Committee.

McPherson said he is using any available services, programs and funding sources from the local and federal government to open King’s High RV Ranch in Niederwald sometime in 2013.

“I’m taking advantage of everything available,” McPherson said.

He secured a low-interest loan from the SBA to open the facility.

“I couldn’t afford this venture if it weren’t for these services,” he said.

Over at the USDA table, Amy Dolan was talking with representatives about the possibility of expanding her business. Dolan is the owner of the Inn Above Onion Creek, a bed and breakfast in Kyle’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.

She attended the summit to find out who she can go to for help developing ideas for her business, including agricultural subsidies. Dolan said she grows many of her own herbs, vegetables and fruit on the property already.

The summit was helpful to Dolan.

“You don’t know what you don’t know,” she said.

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