LAS VEGAS -- Small business is a big chunk of Nevada's economy, employing almost 40 percent of the state's workforce.
Many business leaders and entrepreneurs are looking ahead to an economic rebound as they attended Gov. Brian Sandoval's inaugural conference on small business for help.
Six years ago, Yatin Daulat stayed busy in the kitchen at Aurelio's Pizza in northwest Las Vegas.
Business was booming. Today, Aurelio's is closed.
"Hard times, recession, the business was going down," Daulat said.
Daulat came to the governor's conference on small business at the Orleans Casino.
He said he wants to get back into the business world when the time is right.
"The economy is so bad right now, we are trying to figure out what is the right niche of the market," he said.
The small business resource event helps those wanting to start a business or grow an existing one.
Local chambers of commerce want businesses to grow as they rise from the recession.
"Small business is the lifeblood of our economy here in southern Nevada," said Kristin McMillan, president of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce.
Shannon Sweeney of Synthetic Turf Products came to Las Vegas to grow her business.
"We're launching a new green product, and we need some resources to get it out to different people," she said.
Believing the grass is greener, she hopes to grow and add jobs.
"People are looking to spend money," she said. "They're looking to redo their house."
Sandoval addressed the 600 conference attendees.
"Historically, small businesses have led the nation out of periods of economic recession," he said.
Those who've prospered and suffered hope for better days, such as Daulat, who looks back on those better days.
"It was booming," he said. "It was great in those times."
Sandoval said in Nevada, small business represents almost 96 percent of all employers.
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