News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
SUNDAY, MAY 7, 2006


City leaders reject business incubator

It is amazing to me that a large percentage of progressive communities across the nation embrace the business incubator process but our city government does not.

I served as board member and chairman of the Business Incubator for a number of years and was on the client review committee all those years. There are some shining examples of businesses that have come through the incubator, those can be easily documented.

Councilman Ray Metzger's comment was that these small businesses would have found a small place and started anyway. Perhaps some of them would, but the survival rate of business incubator graduates is much higher than those going it alone.

The process for entering the incubator is as follows:

Potential client submits a business plan to the tenant review committee, each committee member reviews the business plan, meets to discuss their findings and recommends that the application be accepted, returned for additional information or rejected.

Here is where some of the most important and beneficial aspects of the incubator process occurs and they are never seen and rarely appreciated.

Accepted: Provides support and encouragement, both very positive and necessary ingredients in a start-up business.

Returned for additional information: Makes the applicants re-think weak areas of the plan, perhaps improve and produce a better plan. Well thought-out and prepared business plans are accepted as being critical to the success of any startup.

Rejected: Maybe the people involved realize that their plan will not work as presented, make a better plan or drop the idea. When anyone spends hard-earned money on a business that fails, the entire community loses.

The city, county and state will approve millions of dollars in tax abatements and spend more millions for infrastructure improvements to attract or help a medium-size or large local, national or foreign business, but if we spend a penny to assist small business then we better see an immediate return or it's not a good investment. Our political leaders should look up the employment percentage of small businesses versus large business and look up the contribution to the GNP of small businesses versus large businesses; but let's not confuse our leaders with things like facts!

Huey Hall


Riley fails the grade as pro-life supporter

Bob Riley definitely deserves an "F" on his pro-life report card. In contrast, the governor of Mississippi deserves an "A." Although he claims to be pro-life, Gov. Riley has been a disappointment to Christians who oppose abortion because of his lack of action. The Tuscaloosa News in its Jan. 24, 2003 edition quoted him saying he "did not see any reason for pro-life legislation at the state level."

Meanwhile, the governor of Mississippi did, in fact, see that he could tighten the screws on the abortion industry with state legislation and has done so. As a result, Mississippi has closed all but one abortion clinic while Alabama has 10 abortion clinics still killing babies, thanks to Bob Riley's inaction. The final straw was Riley allowing the state Department of Public Health to stop all inspections of abortion clinics when his $1.3 billion dollar tax bill failed. On top of this, he allowed the health department to start issuing the "morning-after pill" during his administration, which causes abortions, thus making each county health department a "chemical" abortion clinic. Meanwhile, it was South Dakota, not Alabama, which banned abortion, while Bob Riley, as usual, did nothing. Bob Riley may not be pro-abortion, but you can't tell it by his actions.

James R. Henderson


Don't go to jail for gourmet food

In the May 10 DAILY, there was testimony from former inmates of the Morgan County Jail. That is not a place to enjoy good food.

It is good that he warned prospective inmates that it is not a place to get gourmet meals and enjoy oneself.

Bessie Culpepper


Muslims aren't mentioned in Bible

In reply to the editorial about chaplains praying in Jesus' name, I would like to remind the chaplains who pray that Jesus said in Mark 8:38, "For whoever is ashamed of me and my words ... of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

There isn't anything said regarding what Muslims think or what orders they have.

Carlos L. Cook


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