Honor our small businesses; help them stay profitable

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This week, we join the Small Business Administration in celebrating National Small Business Week.

The SBA has been celebrating the week for over half a century. But this year – as we struggle to emerge from a global pandemic – it’s even more important than ever to understand the contributions of small businesses as well as their predicament to staying profitable.

More than half of Americans own or work for a small business, and they create nearly two in three new jobs in the United States each year, according to Forbes magazine.

Small businesses have shown tenacity, determination and ingenuity throughout the pandemic. To survive, they have to do it.

The SBA hosted a virtual summit last week on topics such as “Getting Real on Resilience”, “Making Your Small Business More Accessible” and “Winning in Ecommerce with Email Marketing”.

Our federal government has taken unprecedented action to help small businesses over the past 1 1/2 years. Forbes said 42% of entrepreneurs have applied for one or more PPP loans to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Loans have helped many small businesses survive. Here in Jefferson City, we suspect that many businesses have quietly struggled to survive. Some have closed, but we’ve also seen a lot of them open. Over the summer, a pizzeria opened and another announced its intention to open.

Maybe one day Jefferson City will even get the holy grail that locals have been clamoring for since our city was founded in 1825: a garden of olive trees.

Most of the people have returned to the restaurants to eat. Now we just need employees to run them and other businesses.

U.S. Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-MO, said small business owners are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy and workforce, which impacts every American.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities; they are made up of both job creators and innovators, ”he said at a hearing on small business this week.

We agree. We honor our local small businesses and the people who work long hours every day to support their families and keep their dreams of a business owner alive.

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