Get out the noise makers. Put on your party hats. Order a cake. It’s time to celebrate the backbone of our economy, the small business.
Small Business Week 2016, May 1 through May 7, is a celebration of small businesses across the country. Small businesses mean jobs, dollars and economic growth.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, in 2014, the United States had more than 28 million small businesses. These businesses employ over 56 million people. This represents nearly one-half of the private workforce and over 99 percent of all employers.
Across the U.S., more than one-half of Americans own or work for a small business. And the small businesses create two out of every three jobs each year.
These numbers, though, only represent a portion of what the small business means in many of our communities. Small-business owners support local events and causes. The owners and employees are the workers at many of these events.
You also will find small-business owners serving in elected positions and on voluntary boards and committees.
And their contributions go on. They bring us needed goods and services to our communities. Instead of us having to travel long distances, we can instead stop in our local store for what we need. And if they don’t have it, they often can get it quickly.
Starting a business is a dream of many. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Dream Big, Start Small.” Building community must include developing your small-business sector.
So get that cake and invite your small-business owners to a party. Thank them for what they do. Share their story through the news and online. It’s a story that needs to be shared.
And send your stories to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know who is your favorite small business and why. I will try to share some on my website, https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/smallbusiness, and through my monthly newsletter.
Let me close with my thanks to our small-business owners.
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Glenn Muske is an independent expert on rural small business, working as GM Consulting – Your partner in achieving small business success. He provides consulting, and writes articles for county extension agents and newspapers across North Dakota. Previously, he was the Rural and Agribusiness Enterprise Development Specialist at the North Dakota State University Extension Service – Center for Community Vitality.