05 December 2008

Small Business is the Backbone of America

A commercial (ironically, advertising the need to advertise) spoke about the fact that "small business is the backbone of America!"

Is it? The first thing is to establish terms. What is a small business? Number of people? Amount of money/profit? I am going to say a business under 50 people, making less than $10 million is gross revenue. This excludes franchisees of larger companies.

I look around my house and I see many products. Few were created, distributed, or sold by a small business. There are services that I receive. Car care, hair cuts, dry cleaning, etc. Is the independent car shop the backbone of America?

Big business is the backbone of America. There is no debate about saving small businesses. It is the "too big to fail" who are getting the help. Small business is the fingers of America. You can lose a few fingers, even all of them, and still keep moving. If small business what the backbone then Walmart would be coming in and decimating small towns. They don't. Walmart replaces the smal business with big business.

Is this bad? I would borrow from evolution. If the only genes we have are "big business" genes, the genetic diversity is ripe for extinction. With the diversity of small business we have a chance to survive the next meteor/climate change/hunters.

No comments: