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Springfield, MO

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Opinion: Role of small business rises to highest stage

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Last edited 1:42 p.m., Feb. 20, 2019

New statistics from the federal government note 44 percent of the 5.3 million new jobs created under President Donald Trump’s administration are generated by our nation’s small businesses. When you add to that the fact studies show small-business optimism continues to be high, the impact of small businesses on our future economy is not only significant but critical to the USA’s economic growth. [Editor’s note: The National Federation of Independent Businesses’ Small Business Optimism Index is at 104 as of December 2018, mirroring the historic high rates recorded in 2004.]

During recent interviews, U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon highlighted the agency’s role in helping to secure small-business success, as well as the president’s State of the Union address. McMahon is particularly encouraged by our country’s young people working in technology at work-sharing spaces and incubators, as well as the number of women seeking to start their own businesses. In particular, she noted tech and health care industries are booming. These groups may know their craft, she noted, but often need help developing the business acumen necessary to thrive.

SBA resources can help small-business owners navigate hiring during the historically low unemployment rate of less than 4 percent and help them determine how to structure pay plans at a time when wages in our marketplace have risen above 3 percent in the last six consecutive months.

More small businesses are being created, too. This is great for our economy but presents challenges if that new business down the street is a competitor of yours. Competition brings with it the need to examine not only business structures but also strategies to determine whether new products and supply lines might be beneficial and increase customer bases.

As the USA embarks upon the exciting task of rebuilding America, the American dream of building a business remains at the heart of our prosperity.

Tom Salisbury is the regional administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration Region VII, which covers Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska. He previously worked as the small-business liaison for U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt and in lending for UMB Bank. Salisbury can be reached at thomas.salisbury@sba.gov.

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