May 20-26 is National Small Business Week. That got me thinking. After all, as a small business owner, I have to think a lot differently from when I was an employee. I’m quite certain that pertains to all small business owners.
According to 2011 statistics* –
- There are 28 million small businesses in the U.S. — which outnumber corporations 1162 to one.
- Small businesses employ 57% of the country’s private workforce and pay 44% of U.S. payroll.
- Only 50% of businesses survive five years.
- A small business went bankrupt every 8 minutes in 2009.
As you can see, the first two statistics demonstrate how vital small businesses are to the American economy, while the latter two indicate how scary it is to take the leap and become a small business owner.
Personally, I’ve always enjoyed working for smaller companies. During my professional business career, I’ve been through two mergers. In each case, I felt more “at home” with the smaller, local company. I also prefer local restaurants to any large chain. On principle, as well as on taste, I almost always choose a unique boutique restaurant over a chain that is designed for the masses.
As individuals, we always make personal choices, and whenever possible, I choose to patronize small businesses. I believe that I get better service from the local place, and I know who to complain to if I’m ever dissatisfied. The owner is often on the premises, so if you have an issue, you can go straight to the top! Mostly, I prefer to support the small business owner, because without trying to sound self-righteous or pompous, I just believe it is the patriotic thing to do. When you buy from a small business owner you are supporting the economy. You are supporting America!
I truly hope that you will support small businesses, not just during National Small Business Week, but each and every week. For the economy to grow, we need small businesses to succeed, and, like many small business owners, I’m counting on you for your support!