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|Friday, February 01, 2008|
Home-based businesses are on the rise as more and more workers flee the corporate world.
By Jon Bell
Cornelius resident Christine Campbell followed 20 years of work in the mental health field with a stint in construction, working for a small building supply company, a construction firm and also one of the corporate behemoths of the industry.
But it didn’t take long before Campbell realized that the corporate gig didn’t exactly suit her fancy.
According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau report on nonemployers — essentially self-employed individuals operating small, unincorporated businesses such as corner stores, home-based businesses or even weekend photography gigs — there were more than 20 million businesses without paid employees in 2005, an increase of more than 4% over the prior year. In Oregon, the Census counted some 218,000 nonemployer establishments with receipts of $9.1 billion in 2002; by 2005, those numbers had increased to more than 246,000 and $11.2 billion, respectively.
“I think over the years since I have been tracking this, there have been several moments when the SOHO opportunities have been on the rise,” says Terri Lonier, a New York-based small-business expert and founder of consulting firm Working Solo. “I think we’re currently in another one.”
The rising numbers of SOHO businesses can indeed be linked in part to the proliferation of high-speed Internet connections. In addition, unlike earlier generations, younger workers aren’t working for the same employer for their entire careers. Instead, they’re assembling what Lonier deems a “delightful mélange” of different work opportunities and skills, which often includes stints of self-employment.
But the SOHO has also become more appealing to the graying masses as well.
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Uncertainty in Greece and China, along with potential interest rate hikes mean investors are looking at the market and nervously questioning where they should be invested.
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