Small Business Saturday

30 Nov

angry-turkeyHistorically, the day after Thanksgiving (known as Black Friday) and, increasingly, Thanksgiving evening itself are a boon for big-box retailers with thousands of stores across the country. In recent years then, the Saturday after Thanksgiving has been a celebration of small business. So get out and support your local small business owners.

But let’s consider something more.

I try to keep this blog from being political, but I would be remiss if I did not make reference to the recent federal government shutdown. Living just across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital, I have seen first-hand the results of sequester and the shutdown. Not only are federal government employees and contractors impacted – the service industries that support this workforce as well as people who depend on federal government support are also affected. That’s a lot of people relying on one (dis)organization.

As I stated in a recent blog post – negative conditions tend to be drivers of new business opportunities. Consider the unintended consequences of the shutdown – we learned that we could survive (at least for a time) without an operating federal government. More importantly, when our soldiers and citizens needed support, small business and not-for-profits stepped forward to fill the void.

Starting a small business allows the individual (especially those considered socially or economically disadvantaged) to be a productive member of society and to provide for their own economic security. And in many cases, small businesses provide better services by being lean, agile and innovative.

So reduce the federal budget by making more services local and letting small businesses start and grow. I do not suggest that this will be quick or easy – it will require elected officials to focus more on value creation and less on their job security. It will require oversight (not more regulation). An excellent read on this subject is “The Rise of the Creative Class” by Richard Florida.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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