Columbia Business Licenses Filings Up

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COLUMBIA - City finance leaders said Thursday the city issued 465 business licenses over the last 12 months--78 more licenses than the same period the previous year. Janice Finley, business services manager for Columbia, said that the 20 percent increase is largely due to entrepreneurial attempts to find opportunities during a bad economy.

Finley said when some people are unemployed they take the opportunity to start up their own business, and that's a good thing for the economy. "The more businesses that come to Columbia or that start up in Columbia that can only mean progress for the community and growth." Finley expects the city to continue to issue new business licenses at its current rate going forward into the next year.

Steve Hotlgrewe owns a mowing business and said he got a business license just this past week and expects it to help his business out by putting him in competition for bigger commercial mowing jobs.

For others, a business license is a necessity to successfully operate a business. Nate Zettler walked away from a full-time job to open a construction business. He said having a business license garners a lot of respect. Without a business license, Zettler doesn't think his business would make it. "It's very important to be a legitimate business in Columbia. You can't get permits, especially in the construction business. You have to have a business license."

Kelsi Little is opening a hair salon in August and said the city required her to get a business license. At age 19, Little is excited to soon be doing what she has always dreamed of doing and said having a business license will make her dream a reality. "I decided to open up this little salon because it's something I've always wanted to do, and I'm just a small town girl making my dream my reality."