National Small Business Week: Recognizing how small businesses impact the state, local economy

By Acting Columbus District Director Scot Hardin, U.S. Small Business Administration

It takes hard work and determination to be a small business owner. The U.S. Small Business Administration empowers those who are driven to make the American dream of business ownership a reality by providing resources and support for entrepreneurs to start, grow and expand.

In Ohio, more than 940,000 small businesses fuel local economies, employing 2.1 million people in the state, or 46 percent of all Ohio employees. These mom and pop stores, restaurants and manufacturers give so much back to local communities, not only providing essential goods and services, but also creating a sense of local identity with their unique products.

Across America, 30 million small businesses are doing the same, generating two out of every three net new jobs. Since 1963, the President of the United States has proclaimed National Small Business Week as a time to celebrate the contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. This year, I ask that you join the SBA in recognizing the large role that small businesses play in communities across the nation from April 29 to May 5.

Locally, the SBA’s Columbus District Office will recognize Ohio’s exceptional entrepreneurs during the 2018 Small Business Week Awards Ceremony on Monday, April 30 at the Idea Foundry.

We will celebrate entrepreneurs who have made an impact in the district, including TNT Service, a Columbus-based small business that developed from a single location to a regional fleet; and SAS Automation, a Xenia-based manufacturer that utilizes SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program to export to countries including Mexico, Columbia and Germany.

We will also recognize lenders, partners and others who have worked to create an environment in which entrepreneurs can thrive.

It is critical to help entrepreneurs grow and succeed at every stage of their business development. The SBA is the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government. The agency provides a voice for small businesses to shape policy and partners with public and private organizations to create resources and entrepreneurial support at the local level.

Scot Hardin is the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Acting Columbus District Director and is based in Columbus, Ohio.