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Starting a business by design: Center for Independence assists clients in beginning a business

Posted: Monday, Oct 14th, 2013

Jay, a client with the Center for Independence, is shown caring for a cat through his business of helping pet owners who are away. October is National Disability Employment month. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

Employment provides most of us with the means to pay for the things we need like housing, food, and the things we want such as entertainment.

In the past several years we have seen the effects of unemployment both at a local level and a national level. Presently the unemployment rate is at 7.3 percent nationally. In South Dakota our unemployment rate at is at 3.8 percent, in Huron it is at 3.1 percent and for persons with disabilities, able to enter the labor force, the unemployment rate 14.1 percent.

Persons with disabilities use the typical means of finding employment ó identifying a job-opening, completing an application, having an interview and getting the job offer. Persons experiencing long-term unemployment who have not had success with this method are finding success in finding and keeping employment by becoming business owners.

The Huron Area Center for Independence is following this lead by helping people we support explore self-employment.

The reasons self-employment works well for small business owners are the same reasons that make it work for persons with disabilities.

Self-employment allows a person to use their own skill To develop their own job, manage their own time and be their own boss.

But setting up and financing your own business can be quite difficult. According to an article on MSNBC, 33 percent of small businesses donít make it past their two-year anniversary.

The Center for Independence works to improve those odds by providing support to persons interested in starting their own business. Jay, for example, has always loved being around animals. He decided he would like to start his own business of dog walking and watching peopleís pets when the owner may need to be out of town. Jay has several dedicated clients in his business thus far. CFI staff assisted him with managing his advertising, bookkeeping and tax responsibility, but it is Jay who owns the business and does the work.

Travis decided he would like to start his own business in Confidential Document Destruction. CFI staff assisted him in setting up an agreement with Dakota Data Shred, maintain a secure storage space, make business contacts, complete a collection-to-destruction certification routine and set up billing and tax reporting processes.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month; and Jay and Travis wish to express their appreciation to those supporting their businesses. The Center for Independence, as well as those they support, would also like to thank the many employers in Huron and throughout South Dakota that continue to recognize the importance of employment to all people.

For the complete article see the 10-12-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 10-12-2013 paper.

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