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A Salute to the Small Business Owner

During the 51 weeks of the year that are not National Small Business Week, it can be easy to overlook the fact that small businesses represent over 99% of the total number of businesses in America today. While many of those are self-employed individuals, nearly half of the private workforce is employed by small businesses. Said another way, about 57 million American families depend on small businesses to help provide a way to pay the mortgage and the car payments, to pay for the soccer practices & out-of-town tournaments for their children, and to hopefully one day be able to send those same kids on to college. The reason why so many people say that small businesses are the backbone of the American economy is because it is so very true; our economy would collapse without this vital group of risk-takers, innovators, and employers.

Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of small business owners including Tom Jelneck with the Orlando digital marketing agency, On Target, and they all have different, unique stories about what made them decide to take the leap. For most of them, they never really started their business with the intention of large dynamic growth or to be employers, marketers, accountants, or salespeople; they simply had a skill that was in demand and a will to succeed. They took the risk to be excellent in their field, and their businesses grew around them.

James, Darrell, and David were all excellent at repairing automobiles. Now, they collectively own and operate eight facilities, employ 118 people, and generate millions of dollars in annual revenue.

Oliver had a passion for health and fitness and his connections to build an exercise equipment sales, service, and supply business. His company serves the needs of hotels and other facilities throughout Central Florida.

Donnie worked with his dad in a moving business for years until his dad passed. Now, he has his sons working with him, and their fleet assists people with the burdens of moving throughout the Southeast. His firm is also one of the most respected piano and organ moving companies on the East Coast.

Diana has mobilized her vision and talent with a camera to generate some of the most astounding and engaging photographs I’ve ever seen. Her ability to capture the spirit of the shot, even if, in reality, conditions are less than ideal, delivers exquisite and memorable images to her clients. Now, her work has been featured in numerous magazines, and her services are in high demand for those who want a touch of elegance in their photographs.

Henry was a brilliant engineer, and 25 years ago, he forged ahead with a new way to move products for commercial and industrial applications. Today, he operates a leading industrial equipment manufacturing facility whose clients include some of the top brand names in the world.

These stories, and countless others, are the essence of what small business is all about. Small business owners risk their livelihood on being able to deliver value to their customers. The marketplace is not friendly; there are always new competitors, new innovations, or new technologies that can disrupt their business practices. They know that every decision they make could potentially make or break their business, and, with the weight of the world on their shoulders, it can be very lonely at the top.

So take time this week, during National Small Business Week, to say thank you to small business owners. Thank you for the risks that you take, the employment opportunities you provide, and the services you deliver. Be proud of the businesses in your community, and do what you can to support them, for they truly are the backbone of America. From our Orlando digital marketing agency to you, we salute you.