National Small Business Week May 5-11

-By Neville Chaney

It’s always interesting to see the credit card companies and other entities celebrate this week each year. As I read those articles, I wonder how many folks who are in larger businesses or who work in small businesses like mine actually THINK about the impact that small business has on our way of life and on our economy.

Did you know that over 50% of the working population is employed by or own a small business? Or that small businesses create 2 out of every 3 jobs in our economy? Or that dollars spent with small businesses have 3x the impact on the local economy that those same dollars spent in a chain store, warehouse club, or should I say it – AMAZON! That’s because the dollars stay right here.

Over 80% of businesses that start do not last the first 5 years. But look at the statistics above. Over 50% of the working population is employed by a small business! There is a lot of expertise right here in our community where you don’t have to leave town and go to a metropolis to benefit from it.

WJ Office runs into this all the time. In many cases, it’s assumed that because when a  business is located in a smaller locale, they cannot have the buying power of a larger entity. They may be right. But, because a business has better buying power, does not mean that they will necessarily be SELLING the product at a lower price!

Small business owners started their businesses because they had an idea for a product or service.  Or, they found that they were good at something and wanted to “live it.” Yes, that’s the term that I use because the business is never far from your immediate consciousness if you are the owner. It’s hard to explain to someone who has never felt that way about his/her career, but that is exactly what it’s like. You can be doing something, but your subconscious occasionally moves back to issues that you’re dealing with in your business. It might be a personnel issue, how you are going to make your expenses this month, or an idea for a new product category. Those who are outstanding at operating their business and are dedicated to it can find that their small business can be very lucrative. They are some who make a living at it, but not much more. It gives them flexibility (at times) in their schedule, but little else. And there are a number who just can’t make it work.

As you consider patronizing your local businesses, think of a world without them. Think of a world that only has big boxes, web sites, and unmotivated employees that don’t feel part of a team. I am very thankful that I live in this community. I have benefitted from your patronage for over 42 years now. Thank you and I pray that God blesses you and all of our business folks who strive every day to make this a better community to live and to serve.