National Small Business Week

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 nearly 378,000 small businesses in Oregon. 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 or plane 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 Marshall Doyle from Cal-Cert Company, the U.S. Small Business Administration 2019 Oregon Small Business Person of the Year, who contributed to the safety of many people in our state by providing calibration and certification of testing equipment used in the construction, aerospace and automotive industries.

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 year’s celebration, May 5-11, I challenge you 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 Marshall, for example. Not only does he create jobs and economic opportunities for people in Oregon, his company’s success has allowed him to give back to his community. He volunteers as a mentor through the Small Business Development Center network at Clackamas Community College as well as being actively involved in local high schools and Portland State University.

It’s a way for Marshall to pay forward the guidance he received from the SBDC earlier in the business’ history. With help from SBDC advisers, he was able to turn the company from the brink of bankruptcy and grow its market share to 41 states and 13 countries while increasing gross revenue 18-fold.

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 regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration Pacific Northwest Region, which serves Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. The SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small businesses with resources to start, grow, expand or recover.

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