Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Mustard Seed

The parable, in business terms, is that great companies grow from start-ups.

First let me reassure you customers who work for large corporations and government agencies that I value you every bit as much as our other customers. In fact I know you have to put up with far more bureaucracy and political correctness to get the job done than those of us in the private sector. I salute you!

But I have to admit I relate best to those of you who work in a private for-profit business. Sometimes it feels that we are the last of the Mohicans when it comes to free market economics. And with the new 1099 reporting requirements in Obamacare and the prospect of the Bush tax cuts running out and the inheritance tax roaring back, I think we Mohicans are the ones about to be scalped.

But that's not to say there's no hope. NFIB's "My Business" magazine reported this summer that "a recent study from the Pew Center showed that small business is the most trusted institution in America." According to the research, small business tops the pack at 71%, then churches at 63%, universities 61%, unions 32%, big business and the Feds at 25% each, and banks bring up the rear at 22%. Wow! Vindication! Almost makes you feel sorry for the banks...

So to my comrades in small business who are feeling a bit beleaguered these days, I say hold your head up and look to the future! A lot more of us are running for office now. There are big elections coming up in November. Make sure to get out and support the voices of small business.

One more thing: When my parents' generation came back from WWII, starting a business was the thing to do. But my generation seems to have sought security rather than the risk of success. Where's that gotten us? This new generation is entering in very uncertain times. Perhaps the best thing you can do for them is not tell them to get a job, but help them start a business.

Just think of the mustard seed...

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