The St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association (RCGA)  “St. Louis Press Pass, May 21, 2010,” includes information from a story that ran in the St. Louis Business Journal on May 20, 2010, and that reports a jump in entrepreneurial activity in Missouri.

Missouri, being mostly rural, has the largest portion of its business activities in St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, and Springfield, so my interpretation of the uptick in new, small-business start-ups bodes well for anyone living in those areas, or who can find work telecommuting to these start-up businesses in those areas. In fact, telecommuting is a great “pitch” for a job with one of these start-ups, as most are probably home-based for now.

If you have an idea (even a half-baked one) for a business that you dream of  starting, do you know about SCORE®?

The acronym stands for “Service Corps of Older Retired Executives,” and taking age-ism into account, let me say that these older, retired executives are not “has-beens,” by any means. (Heck, if I could afford to retire, I could be “an older retired executive,” and you know that I’m on top of my game!)

Anyway, SCORE is a great resource for anyone who has the dream of being self-employed and successful at a new business. SCORE is a Resource Partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration and calls itself, “Counselors to America’s Small Business.”

SCORE has a splendid Web site, where you can work one-on-one by e-mail with one of their registered counselors on a question by question basis. Counselors are volunteers and have their resumes listing areas of expertise. You can target a particular counselor anywhere in the U.S.A. with your question and get the best person to suit your inquiry.

There’s a LOT of great information on the Web site, and I’ve used it for a lot of business questions even as an employee in various roles as supervisor, project manager, etc.

You can use the Web site to find an office near you and make an appointment for a face-to-face meeting with one of their counselors, as well.

All counselors are volunteers, and did I mention that their services are FREE?