Texas remains a stronghold, ranking in the Top 10 States for Small Business Lending for the fourth year in a row. The biggest change in the Longhorn State is the increase in local business owners getting approved for loans, which increased by 37.5% year-over-year. Additionally, the amount of loan dollars funded increased by 35%. Texas, while home to some of the worlds biggest corporations, is also home to 2.6 million small businesses which employ 99.8% of the state’s total workforce. A low cost of living, nearly nonexistent corporate and individual state income taxes, and minimal government regulations make the state ripe for business growth. However, Texas comes in 33rd for K-12 education and 34th in higher education, the lowest of Lendio’s top five states. The state’s lack of a skilled workforce has been an ongoing problem for business of all sizes. The good news is the state legislature is prioritizing trade skills training, tasking the Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Education Agency, and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board with working alongside employers to graduate students into the workforce. The results of this ongoing effort should be seen in the coming years, brightening business prospects in the state. Advice from a Texas business owner: “Having mentors who have experienced success will not only accelerate your growth but also significantly reduce your risk. Pick two or three other business leaders in your area who will offer you advice. Pick people that offer a good or service similar to what you are offering, or as close to it as you can find. Bring them in and allow them to offer brutal, constructive feedback. The feedback you may receive may be tough to absorb but at least you'll get an outside view of what you are doing right, wrong, or could be doing differently.” Alex Andrawes - CEO & Founder, PersonalWine.com Lendio has franchise locations in Plano, and McAllen making it easier for local business owners to find capital to grow. Additional resources for growing small businesses can be found here.