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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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November 16, 2016     Hays Free Press
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November 16, 2016
 

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+ ) HaysFreePress.com November 16, 2016 Page 1D PHOTO BY MOSES LEOS III BY RAFAEL MARQUr:Z quired to move the siding news@haysfreepress.oom from downtown Kyle. A railroad siding is a side rail that allows one The Kyle city coun- train to stop while letting cil approved spending another train go by. $270,000 on a preliminary Whenever this opera- engineering study to tion happens, however, remove a railroad switch trains block traffic on station, or rail siding, Center Street for any- from the downtown sec- where from a few minutes tot. to as much as an hour. The scope of the study The council's decision is to provide the city with came after they opted to an understanding of how table the item following much work will be re- the Nov. 8 Hays County The cost of moving the railroad siding in Kyle is estimated at $17 million. bond election. The city has the oppor- Hays County ear- tunity to possibly partner marked up to $1.5 million with other government of the $131 million road entities from the county, bond package, Proposi- state and federal govern- don 2, to help the city ment. with the cost of moving According to city of- the siding, ficials, governmental enti- ties have pledged to look at the feasibility of the city's proposal for moving the siding. A big compo- nent of the move will be the cost for the scope of work. The cost of moving the siding is estimated at $17 million. The preliminary engi- neering study is the first step in moving the project forward. Kyle Mayor Todd Webster said that mov- ing the siding had merit regardless of participa- tion by other government entities. Webster said the synergistic support from other government entities should not be ignored nor overvalued. But Webster felt that the city should move for- ward with the study since it would be beneficial for future city councils to have a grasp of what it will take to move the siding from downtown Kyle. Military skills help vets grow into entrep neurship BY MOSES LEOS III news@haysfreepress.com It was while working at a marketing job several years ago that former Kyle resident and military vet- eran Christie Smith had enough with her authori- tarian boss. Her former boss, who went too far one day, drove her over the edge and prompted her to quit her job. "I thought to myself, 'screw this. I don't need this job,'" Smith said. But amid the chaos of leaving that job. Smith soon discovered her desire to start her own business. She joined a large number of veterans who take a large step into entrepreneurship. According to U.S. Census Bureau figures, veterans owned nine percent of all U.S. firms, or roughly 2.4 million businesses, in 2007. Veteran owned busi- nesses brought in $1.22 trillion in sales receipts and received $210 billion in payroll. Texas was the second highest state behind California with the most veteran owned businesses in 2007. Julie Snyder, Kyle Area Chamber of Commerce CEO, said there are sever- al existing veteran owned businesses in the area. Kyle City Council member Damon Fogley, who is also a veteran, owns one of those. Snyder said there are entities in the area that can help support veter- ans who wish to become entrepreneurs. The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides funding Smith said the military sent her to take courses in Photoshop and InDesign, when she was the editor of The Wing newsletter. opportunities for veterans who wish to own their own business. Also providing assis- tance is the Small Busi- ness Administration, which also offers financial help. The Texas Workforce Commission provides veterans with informa- tion and help with hiring workers. The success and failure rate of veteran owned businesses, however, is similar to that of regular entrepreneurs, she said. That includes everything from finding funding to gathering a customer base. Smith's experience with her small business, Q2 Designs, began in 2005 after her reserve experi- ence in the U.S. Air Force. She continued to operate the business full-time un- til 2012. Smith currently operates the business on a part-time basis. She made the decision to create her own design company based on what she learned in the military. While serving on active duty in the Army, Smith picked up skills operat- ing as a journalist and a broadcaster. She said the military sent her to take courses in Photoshop and InDesign. when she was the editor of The Wing newsletter. Those skills helped Smith create her business, which centers on design- ing logos, business cards, brochures and websites. But the toughest chal- lenge was getting her business started in the first place. Smith said she took a service job in San Marcos for a few months before she could grow her client-base. "I had sent out emails to all of the known universe," Smith said. She first worked for a couple of weeks help- ing a company set up for an annual conference. From there, she said her business took off, as she received clients by word of mouth and through craigslist. Smith also joined the Kyle Area Chamber of Commerce, where she served as an ambassador. The experience of owning a business was mostly positive. But she also learned some hard lessons as well. "The hardest thing is when people don't pay," Smith said. "It only hap- pened a couple of times ... but it taught me a les- son that you can't be so trusting in business." Getting along with a variety of people was one key trait Smith learned in the military that trans- ferred to the business world: It stemmed from living a military life after grow- ing up in a "homogenous Midwest neighborhood in Kansas City." 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