Dunkirk and Fredonia and the Dynamisism of Small Business

Dunkirk and Fredonia and other places on this fruited plain are noted for the excellence of small business establishments. Small business entrepreneurs in our area and in all of America "believe in better!" We have energetic, creative, first class small businesses in our immediate vicinity and beyond. The simple truth is they are vital to the quality of our life and to the economic condition in our home town communities.

John Locke, the English philosopher said it well "Where there is no desire, there will be no industry." And Robert F. Kennedy stated "There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why...I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?" The words of Locke and Kennedy exemplify the nature of small business in America. Small business folks in America have the great desire to succeed and to be of service. They believe in uncompromising integrity and are so much a part of the backbone of America.

Small businesses, such as those in our area, are dynamic and vital to the US economy. Small businesses in the US employ half of all private sector employees, pay 48 percent of total U.S. private payroll and hire 40 percent of high tech workers, such as scientists, engineers and computer workers. They are crucial to the solvency of our economic system. They are there when we need them and they often go beyond the call of duty.

A number of our readers experienced a major catastrophic flood event in August 2009. Numerous individuals and organizations came from far and wide to assist the local flood victims materially, socially, and physically. Supplying aid and assistance to the victims, among others, were many of our local small businesses some of whom were flood victims themselves.

There are 22.9 million small businesses in the United States and they are located in virtually every neighborhood in this great Country of ours. They serve a strategic role in the dynamism of the backbone of the American economy. Small businesses, many of which are family operations, provide nearly two of every three new jobs; produce 39 percent of the gross national product and invent more than half the nation's technological innovation. Our history points to these small businesses which provided in the past, as they do today, dynamic opportunity for the working population. In fact, small businesses create more than 59 percent of the non farm private gross domestic product (GDP). They are women and men brimming with creative ideas and possess aspirations of entrepreneurial possibility thinking. These individuals are willing to think outside of the box. It was General George S. Patton who said "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."

In the business world, there are no certain guarantees. Today when consumer spending is tight, small business owners and the self-employed face extraordinarily demanding challenges to make ends meet. Increased costs of doing business, market distorting subsidies, burdensome bureaucratic regulations, and a growing perception that government can actually create jobs, make it tougher than ever for small businesses to compete and succeed. In short, the backbone of our business economy has been twisted out of shape by numerous mandated regulations.

In the business world, there are no certain guarantees. Beginning or maintaining a small business presents creative opportunities while at the same time unique challenges. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, over 50 percent fail in the first year and 95 percent fail within the first five years. And yet, never before have the innovation and ingenuity of American small business owners and their employees been so critically significant to the nation's economy.

As we see it, small businesses face increasingly restrictive federal and state regulations which hamper productivity, stifle job creation, and constrain the American standard of living. Complying with unreasonable amounts of paperwork, a tedious tax code, bureaucratic red tape and outdated rules is not the way to help America's small employers compete in the world marketplace. While cutting taxes will allow small business owners to invest more in their companies and provide an incentive to produce, there must be a way to eliminate the vast amount of government involvement in the economy.

Still another priority is limiting abusive lawsuits that are draining resources from small businesses--resources that could be used to invest in jobs, salaries and benefits. Nearly every small business owner, with whom we have spoken, cites the risk of frivolous lawsuits, massive legal expense and liability insurance costs. And if that isn't enough, health insurance premiums have increased by double digits, putting a severe strain on small business owners and their employees. Hopefully, the State Legislatures, the Congress, and the American people, will address these issues and soon. The future of many small business establishments and independent entrepreneurs are running dangerously close to the financial edge.

Next time you have a chance, look over your nearby community and see uncompromising integrity at work. Observe the hardware, local carpenter and plumber, the grocery store and the farmer. Notice the auto and small engine repair shop, banks, box stores, the electrician and the small manufacturer, the furniture dealer, the local pharmacy, the maple syrup bush establishment, the lumber mill and the logger. You will note the local radio station and newspaper, and home operated business, professional offices and independent entrepreneurs.

The truth is, daily you see small business owners and their employees working tirelessly to be what all of us hope to achieve. "Thank you" small business owners and personnel. You help to fulfill the great American dream and exceptionalism at its best! That is how we see it FROM THIS PERSPECTIVE.

(Kevin Wysocki from Washington, DC and formerly from Cherry Creek also contributed to the piece)