EDITORIAL: Significance of small businesses can't be measured

Jun. 19, 2013 @ 04:58 AM

There once was a time when big chain stores and major retail businesses did not exist.

Our country, our state and our area grew and flourished on the strength of small businesses.

Even today, with competition from much larger companies, Central Carolina residents rely on and patronize the many small businesses that make our area unique. These businesses have served citizens and visitors well, some for many decades, with outstanding service and quality products.

Gov. Pat McCrory has proclaimed this week, June 17-21, Small Business Week in North Carolina — recognizing those relatively little yet mighty operations so integral to the state's economy and way of life.

In his proclamation, the following is said of North Carolina small businesses:

* "There are 165,537 small businesses with employees in North Carolina, representing a majority of the total number of businesses with employees;"

* "The income of North Carolina's small business owners totals $24.3 billion, and these businesses employ 1.5 million North Carolinians or 48 percent of the state's non-farm private workforce;"

* "It is the collaborative mission of North Carolina's state agencies, educational institutions and private sector organizations to help North Carolina businesses grow and create new jobs within the state by providing exemplary workforce training, business call centers, financial assistance programs, research and technical assistance;"

* "North Carolina provides a wide array of services to small businesses, including community college small business centers, the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center, access to resources and assistance with business licenses through the Department of Commerce Business Link North Carolina, matching funds for federal small business grants and assistance to rural entrepreneurs through the Rural Center;"

* "Small businesses throughout North Carolina also receive assistance through the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), created through the ratification of the Small Business Act of 1953 with the mission to maintain and strengthen the nation's economy by providing access to capital, counseling, training and contracting to entrepreneurs and small businesses, and by assisting families and businesses recovering from natural disasters;"

* "The State of North Carolina celebrates the achievements made by small business, both locally and nationally."

We join the governor in saluting our small businesses, the backbone of our local economy.

From those small businesses that are institutions in our community to the new startups, we are pleased that so many entrepreneurs call Central Carolina home — and we encourage all of our citizens to support these small businesses and keep the money flowing within our community.