Gabriel Dillard

published on May 7, 2019 - 1:31 PM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

Have you hugged a small business owner today?

If not, why not?

Small businesses are the economic engine that drive this country. From one-person operations and mom-and-pop shops, all the way up to companies with fewer than 500 employees, there are 30 million small businesses in the U.S. They employ roughly half of the private workforce and generate nearly $3 trillion in annual payroll.

This is National Small Business Week, so we would like to highlight all of the important ways small businesses contribute to the American dream. We’d also like to shine a light on all of the organizations that support small businesses, including the local office of the Small Business Administration, the Valley Community Small Business Development Center, the National Federation for Independent Business (NFIB), the Better Business Bureau, the lenders who provide capital to businesses and many more.

The services provided by these organizations make it possible for small businesses to do what they do best: hire people. On that note, small businesses have been quite successful lately. In February, U.S. small businesses broke a 45-year record for job creation, with a net addition of 0.52 workers per firm, according to the NFIB’s monthly jobs report. The previous record was in May 1998 at 0.51 workers per firm.

Indeed, one of the biggest problems faced by small business owners is the lack of available workers to hire.

“Small businesses are creating new jobs at an all-time high, which has massive implications for the economy since two of every three new jobs is created by a small business,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “Owners are doing everything they can to hold onto the employees they have, while trying to produce effectively without a full staff.”

Central Valley private businesses have done their part to boost the local economy and the workforce, according to data from the California Employment Development Department. Since 2010, private businesses in Fresno, Kings, Madera and Tulare County have created 93,300 new jobs. That’s just shy of the population of Clovis.

Here’s how the numbers broke down for each county:

— Fresno added 65,700 jobs since March 2010, for an increase of 30 percent

— Madera added 5,200 jobs, an increase of 23 percent

— Kings added 4,400 jobs, an increase of 21 percent

— Tulare added 18,000 jobs, an increase of 23 percent

As you can see, small businesses contribute more to the economy, the workforce and society in general than we could ever really know. It should be National Small Business Week every day. But since it’s not, be sure to check out our coverage this week and hug that small business owner while he or she is standing still.

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