Thursday, May 3, 2018
The power and value of small businesses are celebrated this week during "National Small Business Week," recognized annually by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Small businesses are recognized as the backbone of our economy and that certainly is the case in Ouachita Parish and the state of Louisiana. In a state report issued by the SBA, small businesses employ more than 917,000 or 53 percent of our workforce. The top five Louisiana small business industry sectors are health care, food services, retail, construction and professional services. These industries alone employ more than half of all small business employees in the state.
The SBA defines a small business as any business with fewer than 500 employees and less than $7 million in annual sales, but we know the average small business in the United States is much smaller. The national average for a small business is less than 20 employees and less than $2 million in sales. Locally, we know those numbers are even smaller.
During National Small Business Week, the West Monroe-West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce encourages the public to think about the hard work and dedication it takes to run a small business. Often times, a small business owner wears many hats throughout a normal business day - sales person, accountant, even janitor.
Small business owners contribute significantly to our economy by employing our residents, purchasing needed equipment and services and contributing to the local sales tax base. Sales tax generated by small businesses help fund local governments for such projects as road repair, upgrades to our sewer and water infrastructure, public safety and education.
The next time you think about buying a piece of furniture, a new outfit or are in need of a professional service, consider shopping in a local small business.