Did you know that Clinton County has more than 2,280 businesses operating throughout its towns, cities, and rural areas? That’s 2,280 businesses that you could buy from or contract with for the goods and services you need.

More than 580 of those businesses employ one or more people. The majority of those (318) employ just 1-4 people. Another 123 employ 5-9, 84 employ 10-19, 30 employe 20-49, 15 employ 50-99, and only 18 businesses in Clinton County employ more than 100 people, according to 2014 Census Bureau statistics.


But those Census Bureau numbers tell just a small part of the economic story of Clinton County, which boasts more than 1,600 “non-employer” establishments. This figure represents mostly self-employed individuals who operate all kinds of single-operator businesses out of their homes or office spaces.

The largest employer businesses are the ones many of us are familiar with. They represent industries like transportation and warehousing; manufacturing; healthcare and social assistance; and accommodation and food services. Many large employer businesses in Clinton County are located in the Frankfort Industrial Park that was created back in the 1950s. According to the Clinton County Chamber of Commerce, there are 23 businesses located there now in the food processing, automotive, and consumer goods sectors.

The largest volume of self-employed, single operator businesses, on the other hand, include industries like construction; retail trade; real estate; professional, scientific, and technical services; and arts, entertainment, and recreation. That means many of your friends, neighbors, and former coworkers are creating products and performing services that you may not even know about.

Not only do non-employer businesses outnumber employer businesses nearly 3 to 1 in Clinton County, according to the Census Bureau, the majority of all business establishments in the United States are nonemployers. These businesses average less than 4 percent of all sales and receipts nationally, but they also provide employment and a living wage for many people and their families.

So, if there are so many businesses sprinkled throughout Clinton County, how do you find out about them? The Clinton County Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Frankfort both offer listings of members and partners. Check out the ads on each sidebar of the Clinton County Daily News site for local businesses to support. As well, users of Facebook can do a search of “Frankfort Businesses” or any other town in the county and then click the “Places” tab to see a list of all the businesses who have a Facebook page. Of course you can also just do a Google search of the type of business you are looking for … or ask a friend or neighbor. Maybe they know of someone who offers just what you are looking for.

And if you are a business owner, or thinking about starting business here in Clinton County, check out the Clinton County Small Business Networking Group that meets the second Tuesday of every month at Hoops in Frankfort. You might just see me there, too!

Originally published at Clinton County Daily News on October 1, 2016.