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1608 LAVACA, 478-3281 201 E. RIVERSIDE, 441-5331 Create a positive first impression with your next paper or report. Complete your project with one of our inexpensive bindings to create your own special effect*. Remember, first impressions can have lasting effects. 108 Congress 2021 Guacial’w e Call 476-9171 for details Copying is our middle name but not our only service Ginny’s Copying Service, Inc. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 29 Remarks like these from the man who has to change TIC’s ways, if they are going to change, don’t inspire much confidence. And Brown hasn’t helped matters any with his much-ballyhooed plans for an oil and gas trade mission to China \(which Governor Clements, himself an his equally well-publicized promotion of sales of oil-rig equipment made in Texas to Mexico’s state-owned oil industry. These are indeed worthy endeavors, but do companies like Continental-Emsco, the oil equipment subsidiary of LTV Corporation in Dallas, or Clements’s own SEDCO, Inc., really need the help of the Texas Industrial Commission to cut deals with foreign governments? The point is that TIC has a big enough mission to handle right here on the homefront. The commission ought to spend its limited resources on programs for aid to small and minority businessmen here who are starved of capital and the know-how they need to compete with larger, well-established companies. And it ought to be cultivating stable economic development in depressed areas of rural Texas. The right moves Fortunately there is more to Gerald Brown’s TIC than what has been appearing in the headlines. Some efforts to get help to those who need it have been underway all along, and B r own is promising to do more. The commission’s minority business enterprise division is getting out front at legislative committee hearings to argue for setting aside a share of state government procurement contracts for small and minority businesses. TIC is also asking for an infusion of $5 million into the community development loan fund it administers, so that small communities can obtain at least some of the capital they need to finance local economic development. And Brown wants to link the work of the commission’s minority enterprise division more closely with the agency’s other programs, so that useful business contacts can be shared. Despite his lapses into traditional TIC rhetoric on subjects like out-of-state advertising, Brown enjoys considerable credibility with legislators who have been pushing these grassroots aid programs for years. He says TIC can be “the catalyst” in the development of Texas’ minority enterprisesand indeed, it could also be the catalyst for the growth of small business generally, and for rural and small-town development. It’s up to Brown and his commissioners to make it happen. El Jeannette Garrett is an Observer staff assistant and University of Texas journalism student.