This week, entrepreneurs and business leaders will be celebrating the common denominator of the U.S. economy: Main Street. First held in 1963 by the order of President John F. Kennedy, National Small Business Week is all about networking and championing the grassroots mom-and-pops.
More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year, according to the Small Business Administration, which coordinates the annual event.
The week is much more than a hallmark holiday or a corporate marketing scheme. It is an excellent opportunity to grab the national spotlight for small business issues.
And what’s most important to small businesses?
On top of the list, of course, is monetary policy and the question of how tapering will affect interest rates and SMBs ability to access capital in 2014 and beyond. So it makes sense that Fed Chair Janet Yellen will be speaking at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week.
Fiscal policy can also help or hurt a business, and tax reform is likely to be a topic du jour this week. We’ll have an eye out for Uncle Sam. Also TBDiscussed: health-care reform.
To kick off the week, here are five reasons to kiss a small business owner. As if you needed even one. After all, it is a small-business world.
No. 1: They’re putting you to work.
Albeit a slow recovery, small businesses are responsible for 63%, or 4.3 million, of the 6.9 million jobs created since it began, according to the Small Business Administration.
No. 2: They know what they are talking about.
From describing the product line, to the story behind it, to telling you about the history of the shop location, small business owners can offer wisdom and knowledge that not even Google or Siri can provide.
No. 3: They aren’t in it for the money.
We’re talking about Main Street here, folks. Your Realtor. The baker. Even the great-smelling candle-stick maker. These businesses weren’t started in Silicon Valley with the hopes of making billions, but instead, your local entrepreneurs started up fueled by passion and the hopes of offering products and services that make life better. It’s that simple.
No. 4: They are survivors, not victims.
It’s called Main Street, not Easy Street. Business owners work around the clock and face countless brutal obstacles. “We’re sorry, your loan wasn’t approved.” “Your health-care premiums are going UP.” “Wicked weather just shut down the power grid—and we just restocked the walk-in cooler.” All just a day in the life of a multi-tasking business owner. But you won’t hear any whining from this group. They are too busy planning their next appointment or adding the just-right amount of cream to your coffee.
No. 5: They are happy to see you.
Show me a business owner who doesn’t offer a genuine and friendly greeting to each customer that walks in the store, and I’ll show you an out-of-business sign. These are people who like people. They like you. So go ahead, give them a kiss. Take a moment to show your appreciation.