June 03, 2019

Weekly Column: Small Businesses Drive Our Economy

Americans turning ideas into jobs and opportunities have made our country into a force of innovation and productivity.  The Idaho Small Business Profile issued by the Office of Advocacy, within the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), includes the following important small business and economic growth statistics that show just how important they are to our communities:

  • 162,905 small businesses in Idaho account for 99.2 percent of Idaho businesses and 56.2 percent of Idaho’s workforce;

  • Small businesses created 14,998 net jobs in Idaho in 2016 alone;

  • Private-sector employment increased 2.1 percent during the 12-month period ending in February 2019;

  • In the third quarter of 2018, Idaho grew at an annual rate of 3.9 percent, faster than the overall U.S. growth rate of 3.4 percent;

  • In February 2019, Idaho’s unemployment rate at 2.9 percent was nearly 1 percentage point under the February 2019 national unemployment rate of 3.9 percent; and

  • Idaho is home to 13,523 minority-owned business employees;

These numbers further substantiate an understanding about the important role of small businesses.  They not only provide jobs in communities big and small across our country, but also back countless local important efforts.  Youth sports teams, local food banks, service organizations and countless others turn to small businesses to support efforts that make a difference in the lives of Idaho families. 

I co-sponsored a resolution recognizing the 56th anniversary of National Small Business Week celebrated each May and commending the entrepreneurial spirit of small business owners in the U.S. and the impact that small business owners have on their communities.  Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) introduced S.Res. 191, which fellow Idaho Senator Jim Risch also co-sponsored along with a total of 61 senators from both sides of the aisle.  The Senate unanimously passed the resolution that recognizes the more than 30 million small businesses in the United States that employ nearly one-half of the U.S. workforce and produced one-third of all U.S. goods sold abroad.  Importantly, the resolution reads, “2 of every 3 new jobs are created by small businesses,” and reflects an understanding of “the importance of creating a small business climate that allows for sustained, entrepreneurial success.”  

Through enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and rolling back overly-burdensome and costly federal regulations that pile unnecessary paperwork on America’s small businesses, Congress and the Administration are making progress in creating an economic climate that enables small businesses to succeed.  These reforms are contributing to substantial growth in our economy, the creation of millions of jobs and increased wages.  We must continue to build on this progress to fully reinforce America as a place where a sound idea and hard work can be built into a successful business and lasting jobs. 

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