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      Small business owners sharing ideas, experiences

      The small business environment is a tough place to be right now, that's the message from a Quincy small business owner.

      The Tri-State Development Summit Task Force held a meeting Tuesday, August 17th to bring new and experienced small business owners together.

      The idea was to bring those owners together with members of local government to talk about what challenges small businesses and entrepeneurs face.

      Some of the issues discussed were financing, exporting and opening up in new markets.

      But the most important thing may have been sharing past experiences.

      "I think the biggest thing we can do is, those who have been in business, is to bring our experience and knowledge to those who are trying something. For those who have been there, the experience that we bring to the table today, hopefully will be able to benefit those attendees here who are looking to grow their business if you will," said Mike Hutmacher, owner of Shoehorn Furnishings.

      "I think the old saying, 'if you haven't been there you don't know what it's like,' is really true. When you're an owner and when you get down in the trenches, there is nothing like learning it from the school of hard knocks and it is a really interesting venture out there today," said Mike Hutmacher.

      "They say that small business is the backbone of the United States and I truly believe that, there are some larger employers, but it really takes all the small businesses together and working with the government and working with local representatives to actually make a community go and grow," said ETC Computerland President Eric Thomas.

      There will be two more meetings to discuss similar topics.

      The summit will be in Mount Pleasant, Iowa Wednesday, August 18th at Southeastern Community College and in Hannibal at Fiddlesticks on Thursday, August 19th.

      Meetings begin with registration at 9:30AM and go until 1:00 PM