Big strides for small business in West Palm Beach

Study: WPB among best in U.S. for small business

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Small businesses making big strides in one Palm Beach County community. A new study shows West Palm Beach is among the best in the nation for attracting - and sustaining - mom and pop shops.

John Reis says he spends forty hours per week in the kitchen and another thirty hours out on the floor of Hot Pie Pizza. Reis has owned the restaurant in downtown West Palm Beach for five years. For him, it has not always been easy. "You can work very, very hard and not get paid that day or not get paid that week or that month," said Reis.

But now he and other West Palm Beach small business owners are tasting just how sweet success can be. "I think the small businesses here are ready to explode," Reis said.

A new study by Biz2Credit analyzed 12,000 mom and pop operations nationwide, looking into revenue, age of business and average credit scores. West Palm Beach ranked number ten on the list of the 'Best U.S. Cities for Small Businesses'.

"It's very, very hard," said Joan Goldberg of West Palm Beach, who owned her own business for years. She says it was squeezed out by bigger, corporate chains. Now, she makes it a point to shop small. "They work a little bit harder because they know what happens in their business is what happens in their homes," she said.

Reis has some advice for those who are following in his entrepreneurial footsteps. "Don't start a small business to get rich," he said. "Start a business because you really love to do what you are doing and the dollars will follow behind that."

Why West Palm Beach? The study shows Florida is a low-cost state for business, housing prices can be more affordable and the favorable weather in the Sunshine State helps as well.