Happy Birthday to us. 238 years old and still growing.
Amazing isn’t it? We were a nation of immigrants then and we’re a nation of immigrants now, and yet we’ve managed to become the most powerful brand in the world.
Why? Because we’re merchants of hope and freedom. We deal in the two most precious commodities that exist; and we’re good at it.
We’re open twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, weather notwithstanding. We don’t have to advertise either. People find us by virtue of what we stand for and after almost two and a half centuries people still flock to our shores hoping to live the American dream. Our many freedoms. Basic democratic values. Equality for all. Free Speech. Civil Liberties. The power to choose how we wish to live our lives. We have it all, and more.
The Founding Fathers weren’t royalty. In fact, for the most part they were small businessmen, just like us, who achieved varying degrees of success. But they had a common cause. Together, their combined strengths and with Jefferson’s command of language, crafted what may be the most important document ever created. It was a gamble. The risks were great and the stakes were high. Not everyone was in support of independence. If they lost their battle with England, it would most assuredly mean death for them all. They could never have pulled it off alone; but together, their skills and talents forged the vision, the mission, and the business plan for the United States of America.
We’ve grown up a lot over the years, but the vision is still evident in the common spirit and sense of community whose soul still resides in small business. We connect past and future. Our lifeblood still contributes more than its fair share to what makes us strong as a nation. Small businesses create 65% of new jobs, and drive consumer spending, which represents about 70% of America’s economy.
Over 50% of our working population earn their livings in small businesses. It’s estimated that over 28,000,000 small businesses exist across the country. I think we can safely say that then and now, small business remains the embodiment of the American Dream.
I’m grateful to be included in that number. What about you?