Editorial: Setting a course for prosperity
Small business has often been described as the engine that drives the U.S. economy. And, as our nation slowly steers itself clear of the financial gale that nearly swamped it, that engine will continue to provide the power as we set a course for prosperity.
In recognition of the vital role that small businesses play in the success of this country, President Obama has proclaimed this week as National Small Business Week.
Small businesses (defined by the government as those firms with 500 or fewer employees) represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms, employ just over half of all private sector employees, pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll, and have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years, according to figures from the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy.
"From the family businesses that anchor Main Street to the high-tech startups that keep America on the cutting edge, small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of America’s promise," the president said.
To continue with the nautical analogy touched upon earlier, large corporations are akin to large container ships. While they are equipped to carry big loads, they are often cumbersome and difficult to navigate, especially in rough seas. Small businesses, like smaller ships, may lack some of the resources of large ocean-going vessels, but they make up for it in their ability to make quick course corrections, speeding past obstacles that may crop up.
Small business owners, the captains of these vessels, have, for the most part, navigated these treacherous waters with consummate skill. Sure, a few have ended up on the rocky shoals, but those that have weathered the storm are coming out the other side all the stronger.
In the years ahead, may you have fair skies and following winds.