The Collin County Governor’s Small Business Forum & Expo was held on Sept. 28 in Allen at the Courtyard by Marriott, Dallas-Allen. This successful event was hosted by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and Collin County chambers of commerce, including Allen-Fairview, Frisco, McKinney, Plano and the Collin County Small Business Development Center.

The Governor’s Small Business Forum and Expos are designed to educate the Texas small business community on workforce development, employee skills training and growth opportunities. The event began with a welcome by the President of the McKinney Chamber of Commerce as well as the Mayor of McKinney.

The TWC presentation included information about Work In Texas, Texas Veterans Leadership Program, Texas Back to Work, Work Opportunity Tax Credit, Skills for Small Businesses, Skills Development Fund Overview and a Local Workforce Development overview.

Two panels were presented during the event. The first panel included owners of small businesses that have shown extreme growth. The attendees were able to hear their stories and ask about their
experiences and what worked best for them. The second panel consisted of local bank CEOs. Panelists shared what their banks were able to offer small businesses as well as some insight into the economy.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Mark Dotzour, Chief Economist of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, was the highlight of the event. He was able to present the attendees with a very honest approach to the economy. Dr. Dotzour is highly regarded among fellow economists and the attendees appreciated his knowledge on the current economic situation in Collin County, the State of Texas and the United States.

The Governor’s Office presents awards during each Forum to organizations within the community. The presenting partners of the Collin County Chambers’ of Commerce collaborated to identify and recognize small businesses that have a best practices model that provided growth and development opportunities in our local communities.

Business Achievement Awards

The 2012 Business Achievement Awards, in recognition of the expansion and contributions to their community, were presented to Cutter Aviation and Rodenbaugh’s Flooring America & Appliances.

These two small businesses have been dedicated to continuously improving the quality of life in Collin County for years. In fact, Sept. 27 was Rodenbaugh’s 50th anniversary celebration and Cutter Aviation recently worked with the Collin County Regional Airport on the runway expansion. Its new 7,000-foot runway is capable of handling many of the largest general aviation aircraft, up to a Boeing 737. The airport continues to support the growth of Collin County’s business community.

Cutter Aviation has been located in the McKinney community since 2006 and an active chamber and community member since that time. Cutter now employs 36 People at Collin County Regional Airport after adding aircraft charter service in 2008, Piper Aircraft and HondaJet aircraft sales in 2009, and the relocation of a Maintenance operation in 2010. Cutter has become an important community partner by
participating in many community based organizations including Leadership McKinney, Kiwanis Club, Meals on Wheels and Challenge Air, which serves children with special needs.

Cutter has over 200 employees across the Southwestern US and is one of the nation’s oldest, most recognized and respected fixed based operators. Having a high quality and respected FBO such as Cutter at Collin County Regional Airport provides the opportunity for high quality services that allow us to attract corporate clients and aircraft to our region. Collin County Regional Airport recently completed a new airport tower and runway project to better serve the growing needs of our business community.

Rodenbaugh's Flooring America and Appliances is a family-owned discount appliance store based in Allen, Texas. Since 1962, Rodenbaugh's Flooring America and Appliances has served customers in Allen, Plano, Fairview, Lucas, McKinney, Frisco, Wylie, Melissa, Richardson, Parker and Princeton with low prices on home appliances and top-notch customer service.