If recent statistics are correct, Pasco County is becoming a haven for the entrepreneurial spirit.
According to data released by YourEconomy.org
, businesses employing fewer than 100 employees increased nearly 36 percent throughout Pasco County, and contributed to a 31 percent increase in employment between 2005 and 2007. Given that a recent report
by the Small Business Administration
indicates that small businesses and entrepreneurs will play important roles in the nation's economic recovery, this may be good news for the expanding communities of Pasco County.
Pasco's leading employers are in the retail and health industries. As in communities throughout the U.S., too many people living in Pasco found themselves out of work as the economy began to slide downward. John Hagen, president and CEO of the Pasco Economic Development Council
, attributes the spark in small business to displaced workers starting businesses to replace previous employment as
hourly workers for bigger companies.
"We have a strong network of hospitals and other health care providers," says Hagen. "But we have an interesting niche in environmental firms that has spun out of the construction business. We think we could play a key role in clean water, environmental remediation and clean energy."
While it's impossible to predict what will transpire in the next five years, Hagen says he feels optimistic.
"We feel a strong upward momentum developing. The public and private sectors are really joining together in an unprecedented way here in Pasco. It is a very positive economic environment at the moment, despite the negative national and international business environment."
Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: John Hagen, Pasco Economic Development Council