Too small to fail

Remember not too long ago when financial institutions were in trouble and Washington and the mainstream media kept telling us they were “too big to fail” – in other words, too important to allowto fail?

I think they got it all wrong. When it comes to small business and the people who own and operate those small business, I firmly believe that they are “too small to fail” – but not because of any government intervention, media hype, or bailout.

The majority of business owners I know are extremely resilient. They know success and they know failure. They know that hard work has its rewards.

They are also stubborn. The idea of failure or defeat does not exist in their vocabulary as evidenced by the fact that if a business owner fails today, but he or she will quickly be up and running in a new business tomorrow – having learned from his or her mistakes and ready to write a new and more successful chapter. 

So I chuckle when I hear the phrase “too big to fail” because unlike the large banks and financial institutions that turn to government for bailouts, those of us in small business turn to our own resources to find a way to make it work. No deep pockets; no bailout. Just creative thinking and strong desire to prove to ourselves we can do it.

Needless to say this is my roundabout way to remind you that each May the Federal government recognizes small business and its impact on American culture and economy by honoring our 30,000,000-plus small businesses and the amazing people who run them.

As a part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration is setting aside May 16 through May 20 as National Small Business Week. A weeklong conference in Washington, D.C. will feature lectures, events, and speakers to educate, inspire, and to highlight the contributions of small business owners.

While I think this recognition is nice, I honestly don’t think it’s enough. Owners of small business need recognition from us.

So I think we need to find a way to recognize owners of small business. Let’s rename “Small business week” and call it “Take a business owner to lunch week.” And I think we ought to allow the owners of those small businesses to choose the restaurant.

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