Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The view from down here in small-business-land

Every day, you read or hear something about some millionbillionwhatever project that will use "stimulus money". But do you know anybody -- personally -- who is benefiting from this national largess?

I don't. But I do have a few thoughts on it.

America runs on small business. So maybe instead of coming up with cash for airport or road improvements, pork (I'm sorry, I mean "earmarks") or that sort of thing, the gubbmint could see its way clear to using a bit of cash to, let's say, help out small retailers who are having trouble making rent and payroll. Maybe they could use a cash infusion so they can fix up their stores, stock up on merchandise, hire another salesperson or even (gasp) advertise.

How about maybe making some money available to the one-location restaurants who are struggling to make ends meet through no fault of their own and give them a cash boost that might let them hire a new chef, open an outdoor patio, add waitstaff or (gasp) advertise?

Maybe there could be some cash to help all those home remodeling companies and builders who are having to lay off workers? Maybe they could use the money to enhance their services, do some spec or pro-bono work and raise their awareness or even (gasp) advertise.

And what about hotels? Especially independent hotels. Maybe with some stimulus cash properties that have delayed or canceled renovations could go ahead and finish the work that will enhance their ability to attract meetings or tourists? Or maybe they could even (gasp) advertise.

Maybe all small business could use a little help with restructuring some debt. Or with lines of credit that let them buy the things they need to make whatever it is they sell.

Sure, I'm in (gasp) advertising, and our company will benefit from increased advertising, but there is no question at all that if small business could afford to advertise in some way, shape or form, they will do better than if they don't. Especially now. See this paper about advertising in a recession on our web site and read this post about advertising and stimulus money.

I can't find the post I put up a few months ago with all the specifics, but as I remember it, something like 60% of our national payroll is paid by small businesses. More people are employed at small businesses than big ones. And there are all kinds of other statistics to support my contention to small business is a very important part of the country's economy. So why are small businesses expected to hope for trickle-down prosperity while the Big Boys and politicans' favorites line up at the public teat?

No comments: