Small Business is a Big Deal

March 15th, 2022 by admin Leave a reply »

Dell. Microsoft. Wal-Mart. McDonald’s. What comes to mind? Each of these companies started as small businesses that eventually became big businesses, very big successful businesses. Collectively they inject billions of dollars and millions of jobs into our world economy.

But who were these companies before they became household names? Who were these owners before they became billionaires? Michael Dell started Dell in his University of Texas dorm room in 1984 with just $1,000; it is now the world’s largest PC manufacturer, growing to over $40 billion in revenue in only sixteen years. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard, started Microsoft and turned it into a $231 billion dollar software giant. Sam Walton purchased a small retail store just after graduating from college in Arkansas; Wal-Mart is now the world’s largest corporation by revenue. McDonalds took 13 years before the second restaurant was ever opened in 1953 and now serves over 47 million customers daily, worldwide.

The purpose of this article is to highlight the importance of small businesses to our economy. With economic development organizations and communities focusing on the ‘Big Fish’ are we overlooking the enormous potential and opportunity of small businesses? This significant group made up 97.6% of all Indiana businesses in 2006! These 128,100 employer firms accounted for 57% of all Indiana employment, nearly 1.3 million. In 2007, small businesses accounted for all the net new jobs created in the U.S. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

We cannot afford to overlook the contributions and the value that small businesses inject into our economy. Our region has to continue offering opportunities, build programs that support and encourage innovation and risk taking ventures. As the economy continues to stagnate, this support is crucial for small business survival and consequently the health of our regional economy.

There are a number of small business resources in the Region to assist small businesses start-up, expand and succeed. For example, the NWI SBDC offers new and existing small business owners no-cost consulting services, low-cost workshops, tools and resources, as well as resource partner referrals. There are also a number of business incubators locally to assist in ‘hands on’ development, as well as full-service office space such as the Hammond Innovation Center, Entech Innovation Center, Michigan City Entrepreneurship Center, and the Purdue Technology Center. These resources mentioned, as well as others, are invaluable and can give that entrepreneur the extra assistance and direction to help them succeed and climb to new heights.


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