I have a challenge for you: Try to go one day without having a small business impact your life. In fact, try to go one day without having at least a dozen small businesses touch your day. It’s impossible. And it’s something that makes me proud.
There are approximately 609,000 small businesses in Washington. Beyond the two out of three net new jobs they create; and, beyond their employment of half the state’s workforce, small businesses are woven into the fabric of our daily lives.
Consider an average day. You wake up in your home that was built by small contractors. The framers, roofers, electricians, plumbers and painters were all likely from local small businesses.
Your breakfast — be it the milk, the juice, the cereal, the eggs, the toast, the jam — all came from a farm. And given our local agricultural abundance, it’s very likely it was sourced locally.
The business that paved the roads of your commute, the businesses that repair the car, bus, bike, plane or ferry you ride to work — or the businesses that built those parts for these modes of transportation — are most likely small businesses too.
The coffee shop where you meet a client or friend, the playground where you take your children, or the dental office where you get your teeth cleaned all have small business written all over them.
These are the local heroes we celebrate during National Small Business Week — entrepreneurs like Ross Black from Simple Box Storage, the SBA 2019 Washington Small Business Person of the Year, who has connected with many people in our state who had moving, mobile storage or temporary workspace needs.
Every year since 1963, the president has declared National Small Business Week as a time to shine a spotlight on the impact of small businesses on our economy and communities. During this week’s 2019 celebration, I challenge you to take a moment to realize how many touchpoints you have with small businesses every day. It’s something we often take for granted.
As you reflect on those small businesses that seamlessly weave into your day, consider the people behind the businesses. America’s progress has been driven by pioneers who think big, take risks and work hard.
And consider the social impact small business owners have. Take Ross for example. Not only does he create jobs and economic opportunities for people in Washington and the surrounding states, he sponsors one orphan or widow for each employee the company has. He has also provided containers and supplies for global and national disasters, sponsors local community events and volunteers his time coaching and teaching local students. In fact, Ross says community service and charitable giving are some of the main reasons he is in business.
With tools acquired from the SBA Emerging Leaders program, Ross was able to grow Simple Box Storage from two locations to eight, increase revenue by 400 percent and add 17 new employees.
Small business owners are one of our state’s greatest resources. The SBA is proud to be a thread in the fabric of what small business owners weave to achieve. During National Small Business Week, join me in honoring the small businesses and entrepreneurs that are woven into our lives.
Jeremy Field is the Pacific Northwest regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration, which serves Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. The SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small businesses with resources to start, grow, expand or recover.