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home : life : business & finance April 30, 2016

9/11/2013 8:43:00 PM
Home Based Businesses Thrive in Payne County
Sylvia Choate Cox is a fashion designer who works from her home in Stillwater. Photo provided To contact her regarding the content of this or other articles, e-mail her at sbarta@provalue.net
Sylvia Choate Cox is a fashion designer who works from her home in Stillwater. Photo provided To contact her regarding the content of this or other articles, e-mail her at sbarta@provalue.net
By Dr. Suzette Barta

Statistics on the number of home-based businesses in America are not easy to find. Home-based businesses, in general, are not always easy to find either-which is perhaps one of the biggest hurdles faced by these small business owners. While there are many advantages to working from home, there are also a number of challenges-most stemming from lack of access to markets, information, education, and networking opportunities. Payne County Extension has a program that can help.

According to bussinessforhome.org, a new home-based business is started every 12 seconds for a total of 38 million home-based businesses in the country with an income of $427 billion per year. It is quite possible that the numbers are even larger than these, given the nature of home-based businesses. Either way, this is a significant portion in our economy.

What kinds of businesses get started in the home? All kinds! How about manufacturing? Stillwater's Kicker Audio started in the garage of owner Steve Irby. Today, Kicker employs 200 individuals in a 280,000 square foot facility. Creative people also start their businesses at home. Artists, crafters, quilters, jewelry designers, fashion designers, woodworkers, authors, freelance writers, musicians, sculptors, and photographers can all make money by doing what they love from home.

What kinds of people own home-based businesses? You guessed it. All kinds! Five years ago, two sisters ages 9 and 11 started their own business selling sewing kits online. Today, they have shipped their kits to at least 40 states as well as overseas.

Home-based business owners also might be retired professionals, both men and women, who have decided to become professional consultants in their fields. Stay-at-home moms with young children often take advantage of work at home opportunities, many in the direct sales industry. And let's not forget the agriculture sector-the original home-based businesses.

We have many home-based businesses in Payne County (I won't even pretend to know how many), and I'm pleased to say that as part of my job as an Extension Educator I have met many fascinating people with unique home-based businesses. I have been enriched by every one of them. These business owners live in Ripley, Glencoe, Yale, Cushing, Perkins and Stillwater. In case you didn't notice, that is every city/town of Payne County.

I have become acquainted with many of these individuals through the monthly programs of the Payne County Home-Based Business Association. PCHBBA is a group of home-based and other small business owners that comes together for mutual support, networking, and educational opportunities.

PCHBBA meets monthly, on the 4th Tuesday of each month at noon at the Payne County Administration Building-corner of 6th and Duck in Stillwater. Each meeting includes lunch, time for networking, and an educational program. Membership in the PCHBBA is open to all those with an interest in small business, and there are no dues or fees to pay. Lunch is available for those who would like to RSVP and purchase it at the door. Participants may also bring their own lunch and attend at no charge.

The next meeting will be September 24 at noon at the Payne County Administration Building. This is a special networking program. All small and home-based business owners are invited to bring some of their products to show off. Each person will be given an allotted time to speak about their business.

Box lunches will be ordered for those who RSV P by noon on Monday September 23. Cost is $10-payable at the door when you arrive. If you do not want to order a lunch, participation is FREE. RSVP by emailing suzette.barta@okstate.edu or calling the Extension office at 405-747-8320.

If you cannot attend the special networking event, but you would like to be added to our email list so that you know about events associated with PCHBBA, send an email to the same address.

Dr. Suzette Barta is an Extension Educator, Community and Economic Development, with Payne County OSU Extension. She is also an active member of the Perkins Community Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Perkins Area Economic Development Authority.

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