Appreciating the Benefits of Small Business
We have always appreciated the importance and benefits of a thriving small business economy.
But, in our journey to launch our one-stop local shopping website, something very odious has been confirmed for us: That federal, state, and local governments both deliberately and accidentally implement policies that harm independent businesses. And monopolistic corporations and billionaires have been the benefactors of these policies for about 50 years.
The situation is dire as independent small businesses struggle with almost insurmountable challenges. It’s not sustainable.
So, imagine how happy we were to discover that at least one politician is raising this issue as part of their platform. Elizabeth Warren is talking about leveling the playing field.
And no wonder we love this article from the Atlantic as it summarizes many key themes that we have written endlessly about (but not as expertly and eloquently as the author, Stacy Mitchell).
The Big Benefit of Small Businesses
We are glad–no ecstatic–that candidates, like Elizabeth Warren, are bringing attention to the untenable plight of small business entrepreneurs. We are over the moon that she is explaining the far-reaching implications of failing them. Indeed, Warren is making an excellent case about the big benefit of small businesses: That they are truly the economic engine that can change the course of the obscenely unfair wealth (non)distribution in this country.
There are other benefits of small business too. In fact, there are an infinite number of positive outcomes for communities with a thriving indie scene. For the sake of brevity, we will just give you our elevator speech: They have a positive economic, environmental, and social impact on our communities. They create stronger cities, towns, and neighborhoods that we can all enjoy to live in. In short, they enrich our own lives and the lives of those around us.
The Threats to Small Businesses
Despite all the upsides to having an economy rooted in Small Business development, clearly, that is not where we are today.
Several trends have caused the decline in number of independent businesses. And the fall is dramatic: From 2005 to 2015, the US economy lost 85,000 such businesses. Yikes. But this statistic should be surprising to no one because over the last half-century we have seen:
- A massive consolidation of wealth and power to a very few companies and billionaires.
- Politicians introduce innumerable economic policies that favor corporations, giving them an extremely unfair advantage over smaller competitors.
- These same politicians perpetuate the idea that all pro-business policies help all businesses despite the data that proves otherwise.
- Corporations gain monopolistic power much to the detriment of small businesses and the American people.
Sadly, Politicians at all levels of government have succumbed to the false narrative that “bigger is better.” And they vehemently argue that if smaller businesses fail, it’s because they just can’t compete. No doubt, the hefty Corporate donations to their political campaigns have helped embed these misguided beliefs.
It doesn’t help that Americans bought into this popular notion that the cheapest option is the best choice and have abandoned doing business with independents as a result. This fairy tale has been perpetuated by big business and, inexcusably, the mainstream media.
Without a Small Business First Economy, This is What we Get
It’s really bad for America as these behemoth corporations are eroding our democracy.
But the implications also hit us at home and in our everyday lives. Since the biggest corporations and money hoarders have completely secured the power with local, state, and Federal governments, they can now do as they please. For example: They use their predatory power to undo competition. In addition, they pollute the planet with impunity. Not to mention that they wage war against those who seek higher wages and better benefits for employees. In truth, they have wreaked havoc on our cities, towns, and communities. And, the list goes on. As such, our standard of living has been in decline for decades.
It’s time to Prioritize Small Business Entrepreneurs
And not just from a policy standpoint. We have to make changes personally as well. Yes, we have got to raise our collective voice to demand of all of our politicians to restore a balanced “Small Business First” American vision. But, we also have to stop blindly handing our hard-earned dollars to billionaires and their unsavory corporations. We have to abandon the “bigger is better” false narrative. If we don’t, we are essentially sending a message that their monopolistic behavior is acceptable. And, all the while, we are turning ourselves into paupers that are destined to live in soul-less communities.
We ask: Is big business really the bargain that they say it is?
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