Mike Crapo official photo 2017

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omewhere in a community across our country, a fellow American is thinking through the steps of turning their idea into a small business. They could be a young entrepreneur with dreams of changing the world with their innovation. They could be a middle-aged parent, who has always worked for others and is now ready to bring their small business dream into clear focus. They could be a highly-skilled veteran who returned home ready to invest in an opportunity to satisfy a need in their community. 

As they put their plans into motion, they are joining the more than 30.7 million small businesses in the U.S., which represent 99.9 percent of all businesses and employ nearly 48 percent of private sector employees in the United States. American small businesses also create almost two of every three new jobs.  These statistics about the importance of small businesses to our communities and economy are highlighted in a resolution I co-sponsored celebrating the role of small businesses and efforts by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help people start, build and grow businesses. A bipartisan group of 41 fellow senators, including fellow Idaho Senator James E. Risch co-sponsored S. Res. 443 when it was introduced on Nov. 21, 2019.  

In the resolution, November 30, 2019 is identified as “an appropriate day to recognize small businesses and encourage consumers to support local small businesses during the holiday shopping season.” Idaho is home to 162,905 small businesses that employee 315,753 of our friends and neighbors, more than half of Idaho’s private workforce, according to the SBA’s Office of Advocacy. Shopping at local small businesses and improving our national economy strengthens our communities by helping these local economic drivers to succeed.

Further, the resolution highlights the importance of creating policies that promote a business-friendly environment for small business owners. Congress and the Trump Administration have made important progress on creating an economic climate that helps small businesses get off the ground and grow jobs through enactment of the 2017 tax reform law and removing overly-burdensome and costly federal regulations. We must not let up in building on this progress contributing to substantial growth in our economy, job creation and increased wages. 

Additionally, the SBA, at sba.gov, provides resources to prepare for starting and growing a business. These include considerations, such as 1) conducting market research; 2) writing a business plan; 3) business funding; 4) picking a location; 5) choosing a business structure; 6) name selection; 7) business registration; 8) getting tax IDs; 9) applying for licenses and permits; and 10) opening a business bank account.

Growing a business or keeping it afloat through all seasons of changing trends, variable input costs and other ups-and-downs is far from easy. America’s small business owners represent profound determination. They are the energy and vision propelling our nation.  Let’s all do our parts to support the small businesses that drive our communities. 

Mike Crapo, R-Idaho Falls, is a senior senator for the state of Idaho. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the Independent-Enterprise.

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