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AMEN Forum to Highlight Alabama’s Small Businesses

The Alabama MicroEnterprise Network, known as AMEN, will hold an Oct. 28 forum in Montgomery that will highlight the economic impact of microbusinesses in Alabama and across the nation.

Defined as a company with five or fewer employees, microbusinesses account for 92 percent of U.S. businesses.

“Microbusinesses are the country’s largest segment of small businesses,” said Gaynelle Adams Jackson, president of AMEN. “There are 25.5 million microenterprises across the country, nearly 6.5 million in the Southeast and over 355,000 in Alabama, representing 88 percent of all business in the state.”

She notes that there are misconceptions about microbusinesses. They are sometimes seen as only side projects that provide a second household income, or they are run by people in low-income communities.

But microbusinesses can be found everywhere, including affluent and middle class neighborhoods.

“Think of a small law firm with two attorneys and a paralegal; the owner of the corner grocery, stock assistant and clerk; the after-school tutor; a computer technician; or an independent truck driver,” she said. “Microbusiness activity is everywhere.”

The AMEN Forum will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 300 Tallapoosa St. in Montgomery. AMEN is a nonprofit that aims to serve, educate and empower Alabama’s microbusiness development organizations and the entrepreneurs they represent.

Forum sponsors include the Alabama Department of Commerce-Office of Small Business Advocacy, ADECA-Office of Minority Business Enterprise, BB&T Bank, Alabama Asset Building Coalition, Regions Bank and Renasant Bank.

For more information on the AMEN Forum and AMEN, go to or email

October 20, 2014

Dawn Kent Azok | By Dawn Kent Azok |

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