We walk and drive by small businesses every day. We go in their doors, make purchases and continue on our way without another thought.
We depend on small businesses. They fill our need for products and services, and we expect them to be open on a regular basis to meet our needs (and sometimes we even call them during their off-hours).
If you live in rural communities, they are the core of Main Street and the general business community. Besides Main Street, you will find them scattered throughout the town and county. Some are in plain sight while other small-business owners operate out of homes, garages and sometimes even out of vehicles.
They contribute in terms of dollars but probably offer even greater contributions in terms of resources and time. Many of our elected officials and volunteers come from their ranks.
Finally, they contribute more than 50 percent of revenues and employ more than 90 percent of the workforce.
The small business and its owner are the mainstay of our local, and in fact our national, economic system.
June 17- 21 is recognized by the U. S. Small Business Administration as “National Small Business Week”. Small businesses are formally recognized at local, state and national events.
This week is our opportunity to thank those businesses for what they mean to us and our quality of life. If you think about it, practically any business you name began as a small business, which is one reason we have this fascination with them as a group.
Here are other reasons why small businesses fascinate us:
- We think and say, “We could do that.” It is our dream.
- They are the underdog in the land of big business.
- Small businesses represent middle class.
- They remind us of the connection and interdependence between family and business.
Take some time this week and stop at your local small businesses and thank them for what they’ve done for you and the community. But more importantly, support them throughout the year. Many have been there for a long time and will be there for many more years to come.
Glenn Muske is the Rural and Agribusiness Enterprise Development Specialist at the North Dakota State University Extension Service – Center for Community Vitality. Follow Glenn on Twitter: @gmuske
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