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  • Wendell Brock

The Heartbeat Of Our Country

2024 has undoubtedly been a newsworthy year, and we’re only one quarter through! Between the shouts of wars and cries for cease fire, attacks on shipping vessels, thundering earthquakes, the crash and splash of a massive bridge collapsing, the excitement of a solar eclipse, not to mention all the political noise of an election year it can be hard to focus on what’s going on in our country. Through it all, a steady pulse can be felt, the heartbeat of America- Small Businesses. Much like our own human hearts, most people don’t think about the steady thrum of these individual businesses, yet they work on, keeping the body of our economy alive.

According to SBA Office of Advocacy, small businesses have accounted for over 40% of our GDP over the last few decades. They contribute significantly to our local economies, circulating revenue and supporting other local businesses, which is vital to keeping our economy healthy. Small businesses help to stabilize our economy. These enterprises provide employment opportunities within our communities and bring creativity, and more competition to the marketplace. New and innovative ideas often come from small businesses, helping to drive our economy forward. Small businesses help to knit our communities together.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that there were 12.9 million jobs created by small businesses between 1996 and 2021, an average of 516,000 a year. After the pandemic we saw a surge, 5.5 million jobs created from small businesses from 2020 to now, an average of 1,571,000 jobs a year.

Small businesses face plenty of challenges. They have limited access to capital compared to big corporations, increased pressure from other competitors, regulatory hurdles and red tape to deal with, not to mention the volatility of our current economic situation. Recession and inflation have been a huge obstacle for small businesses. Over 50% of small business owners say that inflation is their top challenge (U.S. Chamber of Commerce 2023).

Without small businesses pumping life into our economy the American people and our economy would experience a tremendous strain, on both a national and local scale. The consequences would reach far beyond the loss of millions of jobs. Small businesses contribute  substantially to our economy, without their contribution economic growth and innovation would slow. We would see reduced consumer spending and investing, which could lead to a recession. We would see supply chain disruptions and kinks in our supply chain which affect  other parts of our economy. We would lose the uniqueness and diversity we gain from having so many different businesses, which would result in a                  concentration of economic power in the hands of larger corporations, reducing competition. Without small businesses the government would lose a substantial amount in tax revenues, which would put pressure on government budgets, potentially leading to cuts in  public services and higher taxes on personal wages. 

It's crucial, more now than ever, to support small business and create a more stable and healthy economy. The importance of small businesses cannot be overstated. When we support small businesses, we ensure that steady life giving pulse will endure, giving life to our country for decades to come.


Photo 2 by: Tim Mossholder

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