Small Business and Community Health Research

Small business

Contact Information

Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321, or the Office of Media Communications at (254) 710-1961

WACO, Texas - Counties and parishes with a greater concentration of small, locally-owned businesses have healthier populations - with lower rates of mortality, obesity and diabetes - than do those that rely on large companies with "absentee" owners, according to a national study by sociologists at Baylor University and LSU.

"Some communities appear to have thriving small business sectors that feature entrepreneurial cultures that promote public health. A place like this has a can-do climate, a practical problem-solving approach in which a community takes control of its own destiny," said study co-author Charles M. Tolbert, Ph.D., chair of the sociology department in the College of Arts & Sciences at Baylor. "The alternative is the attitude that 'Things are out of our control.'"

The study of 3,060 counties and parishes in the contiguous United States has been published in the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society.

News Release

U.S. Counties with Thriving Small Businesses Have Healthier Residents, According to Study by Baylor University, LSU Researchers

Related Links

Carson Mencken, Ph.D. 

Department of Sociology

Media coverage


• Small Biz Survival, Aug. 4: 7 Strengths of Small Town Businesses #7: Benefiting the Local Community

• Small Biz Survival, Feb. 4: Want to help save your small town? Start your own business


• Huffington Post, Feb. 9, 2012: Small Businesses Make Communities Healthier, Study Says

• Science Daily, Feb. 2, 2012 U.S. Counties With Thriving Small Businesses Have Healthier Residents