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Small Agencies Face Struggle;Women, Minorities See Opportunities

With 30 years of experience in the business as an independent agent in Rochester, Ind., Ron Smith, president of Smith, Sawyer and Smith, feels that the future of the independent agent still lies in his or her ability to provide a value-added service. This is especially true in the competition between small- and large agencies.

Mr. Smith, a past-president of the Alexandria, Va.-based Independent Insurance Agents of America, sees the challenge for smaller agents in achieving an economy of scale and being able to attract business in rural places.

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