By SEN. DAVID G. ARGALL (R-29)

Small businesses are the backbone of our state, local and national economy, providing more than half of all jobs across the entire nation. However, starting a new business can be a very complex and difficult process fraught with potential pitfalls around every corner. It is extremely important to ensure upcoming entrepreneurs have the tools and resources they need to succeed in today's economy.

I had an opportunity recently to take part in Entrepreneur Week at Lehigh Carbon Community College to help highlight the resources that are available through the school's Business Enterprise Center to help individuals who are interested in starting their own business. I strongly believe that LCCC's efforts to support the job creators of tomorrow deserve our recognition and attention, and I encourage local residents who are interested in owning their own business to learn more about the programs the school offers for potential entrepreneurs.

During my visit to LCCC, I offered an overview of state government's role in supporting small business. Entrepreneur Week also included presentations from experts in financing, marketing, advertising, legal issues, business planning and many other topics of interest to potential business owners. The week-long event also featured some of the resources available to help entrepreneurs at the Business Enterprise Center, including providing tutoring, mentoring, office space and equipment for local residents.

Entrepreneur Week also underscored the importance of providing educational tools to the job creators of tomorrow. More than one-third of young adults today have a college degree, offering a substantial competitive advantage in the job market. Many hardworking local residents have had trouble finding work due to the sluggish economy, and many of these individuals are opting to start their own businesses rather than waiting for the job market to improve. LCCC's Business Enterprise Center helps get these new businesses started off on the right foot.

The most recent edition of my monthly TV program focused on the Business Enterprise Center's efforts to help students launch new businesses or expand existing operations in our area. I encourage residents to explore options for entrepreneurs by visiting www.lccc.edu/bec http://www.lccc.edu/bec . This month's episode of The Argall Report featuring LCCC's Business Enterprise Center is available at www.SenatorArgall.com http://www.SenatorArgall.com .