Patty Ritchie

September 12, 2011

Ever thought about starting your own business?

Ever daydreamed about taking that hobby or interest you enjoy and turning it into a part-time or full-time venture.

Someone once said that if you find a job you love, you’ll never feel like you’re working. That’s one of the reasons I developed a guide called “Hire Yourself” that provides detailed information for existing companies that want to expand and advice for people who want to turn their passion into their own business.

Small businesses are the backbone of our nation’s economy. In 1995, 78 percent of America’s 5 million companies had fewer than 10 employees.

Nationwide, the U.S. Small Business Administration reports small businesses account for about half of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product and more than half of all U.S. jobs. Small businesses with fewer than 10 employees are the most likely businesses to create new jobs. Companies that employ between 10 and 20 employees are the second biggest creators of new jobs.

My guide was developed to provide a brief overview of local, county, state and federal economic development programs that are available to people who want to start their own business or who want to expand an existing business.

It offers insight into a host of issues for people who want to “hire yourself” by creating your own job and your own business. With Central and Northern New York suffering from some of the state's highest unemployment rates, it's critical to me that I help our region's existing businesses and those who want to start one find the assistance they need to create new jobs.

Last June, when I sponsored my Jobs Fair in Oswego, I was able to help a lot of people learn about what careers and employment opportunities were available in Central New York. Not long after the event, Novellis, one of the companies that had been taking names at my Jobs Fair, announced they were adding 100 employees.

On Sept. 27th, I'll be holding a Jobs Expo at Ogdensburg's Independent Order of the Odd Fellows Hall from 2 to 6 p.m. where people will be able to find out about who else is hiring and what kind of positions are available in Northern New York.

The Expo will also offer copies of my guide and information about agencies like the New York State Small Business Development Centers in each county that can provide free help for entrepreneurs who want to develop a business plan that can help them obtain financing, financial planning, cost analysis and other advice.

I’ve developed separate guides for St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Oswego Counties that provide detailed local information tailored for residents and businesses in each county. Whether you’re looking for information on low interest loans and grants, help with marketing or assistance in writing a business plan, my “Hire Yourself” guide provides you with the detailed contact information on who can help you.

Visit my website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov, to order your copy. Or contact my office.