Raymondville Entrepreneur Educated at Small Business Seminar

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RAYMONDVILLE – A workforce organization is giving guidance to people in Willacy County interested in small business.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Willacy County has the highest unemployment rate in Texas with 12.7 percent.

Sixty percent of the county's population is in Raymondville. Some want to see the place they call home do better.

Linda Lopez lives in Raymondville.  She said she’s seen the signs of a depressed economy around her.  It's not something she wants see, so she started coming up with a plan.

"Right now, I'm just starting to establish a business. I'm looking to bring opportunity to Raymondville," she said.

Lopez added she plans to hire four to eight people for a shop in the heart of the city.

"I have the idea of creating a nail salon, spa. It's a wellness, actually, is the focus I'm trying to enhance," she said.

She told CHANNEL 5 NEWS she wants the business to start in January. On Tuesday, Lopez attended a seminar with experts from UTRGV to learn how to apply for a business loan.

"I need to know the process, the safe process, in order to attribute funds," she said.

The Lower Rio Grande Valley Workforce Development reported it has 171 small business job openings posted in Willacy County.

Raymondville Mayor Gilbert Gonzales said the city benefits from these small business jobs. He admits the city could always be doing more to educate people who live in Raymondville about how to get a small business loan. However, he said there are places they can go for help.

"They can call the Economic Development Corporation and we're there. We can give them all the advice that they need and guide them to the process that they need to follow to try to get a loan with USDA or Communities Unlimited," said Gonzales.

He believes big businesses that move to Raymondville will do more for the economy than small businesses.

Gonzales said he believes the best route to an economic recovery for the town is through growth in population. He said this will help lure in big business and spawn small businesses.

At the national level, a significant amount of jobs come from small business.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 35.8 percent of U.S. jobs in 2016 were with employers of 1 to 99 people, 24.3 percent of jobs were with employers of 100 to 999 people and 39.8 percent were with employers of more than 1,000.


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