Small Business, Uniquely Ours


Small business owners and their employees are not simply invested in our community, they are our community.

The health of our community at large is inextricably tied to the health of our small businesses. For those in the Chamber community we know this to be true because we see this play out every day. 

The supporting data is certainly impressive – more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and about two out of every three new jobs are created by small businesses each year. A quick scan around town reveals every sector of our local economy to be founded on small business and entrepreneurial endeavors. From locally owned, independent retailers, food and beverage establishments, and professional service companies to those in the business of manufacturing, healthcare, fitness, technology, transportation…and the list goes on. We see small business rallying to support each other, all the while assuming substantial risk and with great resolve. And we find small business owners and their employees engaged in activities that strengthen our community, contributing to local causes, and volunteering on boards.

The piece we know to be of insurmountable value is one not represented in the data. Small business anchors us to our community and contributes to our lived experience, one that is uniquely ours. Small business owners and their employees are not simply invested in our community, they are our community. As one founder of a locally-based, family-owned wood products manufacturer shared at a recent legislative roundtable, “We’re in the business of families.” ~ some 150 local families, in fact. The sentiment was as real as it gets, meaningful far beyond the issues at hand. It’s a sentiment shared by the majority of our small business owners; it’s how they think and operate. 

Small business has been a sustaining factor in my family for generations through ownership and by way of the living wage jobs, education, and opportunity provided by entrepreneurial endeavors. For a personal reflection on how one young entrepreneur and his start-up manufacturing company impacted my family, please see “Entrepreneurship & Manufacturing ~ Beyond the Bottom Line.

In this month’s The Bottom Line and in celebration of National Small Business Week 2019 (May 5th – 11th), we feature small business – entrepreneurs, job creators, and innovators who by their talents and vision sustain our local economy and add value to the experience of community. 

I invite you to share your own personal insights. We’d love to publish them here – our new online news The Bottom Line.