CHOCTAW, Miss. -- Although the United States has seen a stagnant economy during much of 2020, the Director of Economic Development for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians says this is actually an advantageous climate for starting a new business.

Director John Hendrix says, "A study by the Kauffman Foundation showed that over half of the companies that have been on the Fortune 500 list were started during times of flat economies. Some of these include 1800s-era companies like Procter & Gamble and General Electric, all the way to late 20th century names like Home Depot, Microsoft, Apple, and FedEx."

Hendrix continues, "There is data that indicates that an economic slowdown can be an ideal time to form a new business, and as we are facing that reality in our country, it's a good time for entrepreneurs to think about moving forward and launching their new product or service."

Hendrix lists several reasons why this downturn in the economy could offer an environment that is well suited for a startup company.

1. Higher unemployment during times of economic slowdown offers a bigger talent pool. It's easier to attract and maintain a qualified workforce.

2. Rental and other overhead costs are usually less expensive. Even office furniture and supplies can often be found less expensively during a time of slow economic growth.

3. It's a perfect time to offer a new product or service that offers convenience or saves people money. A new product that is offered at a lower price point than competitive products in the market will get noticed quickly.

4. Low interest rates are ideal for entrepreneurs. In today's business climate, loans and credit cards are at rock-bottom rates, making it a great time to lock in to those low rates.

5. Those looking to invest are looking at options other than the stock market during times of stagnation. It's a perfect opportunity to find someone to invest in a startup business that can offer long-term return on investment.

Although these uncertain economic times can make people feel that maintaining the status quo is the safest bet, history shows that in fact, many successful companies have actually begun during just these types of downturns. Potential entrepreneurs should be aware of this and tread carefully but optimistically through the business development process.

As one of the United States' original first nations, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is the only federally recognized American Indian tribe living within the State of Mississippi. With over 11,000 members, Choctaw lands cover over 35,000 acres in 10 counties. Providing permanent, full-time jobs for over 5,000 Tribal-member and non-Indian employees, the Tribe is a major contributor to the state's economy.