Guest Column

The impact of small business to the Newnan/Coweta economy

The Chamber recently announced the winners of its small, medium and large employer honorees in this year’s Small Business Awards ceremony. We at the Chamber certainly congratulate them for their hard work, dedication, and determination in making their businesses successful. Coweta would not be the great place it is without them. You will know some, if not all of them, as friends, neighbors, and fellow Chamber members. They do a big job for the economy here in Coweta County and they deserve our thanks and respect.

Did you know that since the end of World War II to the present, all net new job growth in America has been created by small business? That’s correct: ALL net new job growth. These businesses are defined as those creating 500 jobs or less. As amazing as that may sound to you, given the headlines over thousands of jobs created by Fortune 500 companies, these same companies tend to lay off equal thousands as the economy waxes and wanes. Therefore, large hirings and large layoffs within large corporations tend to cancel each other out.

I first heard these startling findings some years ago at a presentation by a well-known economist. At that time, the American economy was in a strong growth mode so I would guess that since the Great Recession not much has changed in this regard.

So what does that mean? It means the American economy is dependent on small business and that is where our nation’s sustainable job creation occurs.

At the Newnan-Coweta Chamber, we understand that small business, again defined as 500 jobs or less, supplies the majority of our job base here. That’s why we celebrated our Small Business of the Year awards recently and will plan to continue to do so for many years to come.

When people open a new business, they are committed to success. They work as hard as anyone anywhere, regardless of how big or small that business might be. Ask a small business owner about her or his “golden parachute” and you’re likely to get a rueful smile out of them. They know that they are only as strong as their most recent monthly balance sheet and that small business owners don’t often put their feet up on their desks and relax, watching the money roll in.

We are blessed in Coweta with our talented and successful small businesses. I hope that you will take a moment to congratulate them when you see them in our community.

(Candace Boothby is president and CEO of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce)

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