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Best City to Start a Business

August 27, 2009

If you are an entrepreneur in Orlando, you may have heard (as recently as last night at the Disney Entrepreneurial Center) that Orlando is the number one spot to start a business.

Though I do believe Orlando is a great place, there are tons of resources for small business to succeed, (check out my blog entry). The truth is, we have been booted out. Presently we are at #7. Read Biz Journal article here. I have my own ideas as to why this may be, mostly in how the city hasn’t invested in what it’s own citizen organize to build the local market. Rather, it established a competition for companies that were not entirely local (Buy Local) This one action haven’t hurt small business so much as the philosophy of operating that this action demonstrates. It would also be unfair to not mention how we are so heavily investing in the tourist market (which makes me wonder why we didn’t diversify more in during the recession of the 80’s or 90’s, maybe we just diversify a little more with each recession? I don’t know. The truth is, our tourist don’t care about Our local markets.) We are like that small college town that rarely interacts with the student body and the student body never knows it’s city exist apart from them.

So, we are presently #7. I hope I didn’t complain too much. I don’t believe it has to be this way. I believe our city is on the brink of something very good, yet we need to change our behaviors in order to achieve it. If I could put the answer in one word, I would say “community.” ….and then I would have to elaborate. Our city seems very segregated, culturally, racially, spatially, socio-economically. The general attitude seems to be more in protective mode than empowering mode. And there are some amazing pockets of generosity here too! We just have a long way to go… yet maybe not that far… I mean, where not Detroit. (A lovely city, I’m sure.)

Let me shamelessly plug Ourlando. Please visit this site, become a member, and support local business. I will also say Congratulations to Julie Norris, the owner of Dandelions Communitea Cafe, on the beautiful birth of her sweet baby girl!

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