Appreciating small businesses every week

by David Morgan, Lawrence County Executive

It was an honor to join Governor Bill Lee when he visited the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and downtown Lawrenceburg businesses during Small Business Appreciation Week. I could tell he was impressed by what he saw.

I’m very proud of the small businesses across Lawrence County and the contributions they make to our economy and quality of life. They provide jobs and produce tax revenue, support community events and youth sports teams, and keep Lawrence County vibrant and inviting for residents and visitors.

It’s important to shop in Lawrence County as often as you can. The Local Multiplier Effect shows that dollars spent at locally-owned, independent stores recirculate through the local economy 2-4 times more than money spent elsewhere.

Lawrence County has a greater percentage of small, independent businesses than many other counties in the state, according to a 2023 report from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Across Tennessee, there are 664,681 small businesses providing jobs to 1.2 million people, or 41.9% of Tennessee workers.

The idea of business ownership is appealing, but it pays to be prepared before you take the leap. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 18% of new businesses fail within the first year, 45% within the first five years, and 65% within the first ten years. Only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more. These statistics should inspire us to support our local businesses even more.

How do you prepare, or even decide if small business ownership is right for you? The best place to start is the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, which can connect you with resources including the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC).

A TSBDC representative is in Lawrenceburg the third Wednesday of each month for free one-on-one meetings with anyone considering business ownership, or current business owners. Topics that can be covered include starting a business, business plan writing, financial planning, cash flow analysis, loan guidance, marketing and sales strategy, strategic planning, government contracting, and market research and analysis. It’s important to note that poor preparation in many of these areas are the top reasons new businesses fail.

It is best to schedule an appointment so Mr. Longo can spend as much time with you as needed. You can call the Chamber at 931-762-4911 or contact Galen Longo directly at or 629-258-1620. Mr. Longo comes here from the Tennessee Small Business Development Center in Murfreesboro, one of 15 across the state.

You can also find many resources online. The state of Tennessee’s website is a good place to start – go to and then the Department of Economic & Community Development’s “Small Business” menu. Still, I believe it’s very important to bounce your business ideas off people outside your circle of family and friends.

I want to thank all Lawrence County business owners for their hard work and commitment to what began as a dream. You are an essential part of our community, and I wish all of you the best.

 Read MoreLawrence County TN, Government

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