Supporting local businesses on Small Business Saturday

Rob Portman

As hard as it is to believe, the holiday season is already upon us.  That means the beginning of the holiday shopping season, too.

It is an opportunity for millions of retailers around the country to turn their ledgers from red to black. While we are buying gifts for loved ones, we are also helping business owners and retail workers who depend on holiday spending to keep their doors open and their sales booming.

It’s no secret that America’s small businesses have taken a hit in this tough economy. As a small business owner myself, I understand some of the pressures these businesses are facing. I also know that the financial security of our small businesses is imperative to our economic well-being. Half of Americans employed in the private sector work for small businesses. And nearly two-thirds of new private sector jobs are created by these employers. Simply put, whether it’s stocking up for a Thanksgiving meal or buying Christmas gifts, choosing to purchase those items at a local retailer is a great way to give back to our communities.

As part of our efforts to give a hand to these employers and workers across this country, I cosponsored a U.S. Senate resolution in support of Small Business Saturday, coming up on November 30, 2013. As you may know, Small Business Saturday falls on

Thanksgiving weekend, between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  On this day, Americans are encouraged to shop at locally-owned stores in recognition of the positive impacts small businesses make on our nation’s economy.

Of course, we need to do more to address the many challenges that all our employers face. The entrepreneurial spirit is what the American Dream is all about, and I believe in supporting legislation to encourage that spirit and protect that dream. We need to recommit to creating an environment through fiscal discipline and pro-growth economic policies that will allow all American businesses to thrive.

Whether it’s streamlining regulations to remove some of the red tape that keeps businesses from expanding, reforming our complicated and outdated tax code, opening up more federal lands to energy production to lower our costs at home in our businesses and at the pump, or lowering health care costs, there is much we can do to ensure that government doesn’t get in the way of prosperity and growth.

Hard working small business owners drive our economy. I hope you will join me and other Ohioans in this effort to support Small Business Saturday and ensure that the holidays are happy for employees of all businesses, both big and small.

Rob Portman is a US Senator from Ohio.