Small Businesses Intricately Woven into Our Daily Lives
I have a challenge for you:
Try to go one day without having a small business impact your life. In fact, try to go one day without having at least a dozen small businesses touch your day. It’s impossible. And it’s something that makes me proud.
There are more than 73,000 small businesses in Alaska. Beyond the two out of three net new jobs they create; and, beyond their employment of half the state’s workforce, small businesses are woven into the fabric of our daily lives.
Consider an average day. You wake up in your home that was built by small contractors. The framers, roofers, electricians, plumbers and painters were all likely from local small businesses.
Your breakfast – be it the eggs, the jam or the smoked salmon – all came from nearby. And given our local abundance of natural resources, it’s very likely it was sourced locally.
The business that paved the roads of your commute, the businesses that repair the car, bus, bike, plane or ferry you ride to work – or the businesses that built those parts for these modes of transportation – are most likely small businesses too.
The coffee shop where you meet a client or friend, the playground where you take your children, or the dental office where you get your teeth cleaned all have small business written all over them.
These are the local heroes we celebrate during National Small Business Week – entrepreneurs like Shelley Bramstedt and Jan and John Tatham of PIP Printing, the SBA 2019 Alaska Small Business Persons of the Year, who have connected with many people in our state who had printing, copying, fulfillment and creative services needs.
Every year since 1963, the President has declared National Small Business Week as a time to shine a spotlight on the impact of small businesses on our economy and communities. During this year’s celebration, May 5-11, 2019, I challenge you take a moment to realize how many touchpoints you have with small businesses every day. It’s something we often take for granted.
As you reflect on those small businesses that seamlessly weave into your day, consider the people behind the businesses. America’s progress has been driven by pioneers who think big, take risks and work hard.
And consider the social impact small business owners have. Take Shelley, Jan, and John, for example. In addition to providing more than 40 jobs in the Anchorage area, including some for Alaskans seeking a “second chance,” PIP stepped up and now leads a local group to find solutions for the neighborhood’s homeless population.
After using an SBA loan in their early years to expand their space, PIP has continued to grow. The firm recently renovated a once vacant property and built two additional large buildings in the neighborhood as part of their commitment to revitalization and beautification of downtown Anchorage.
Small business owners are one of our state’s greatest resources. The SBA is proud to be a thread in the fabric of what small business owners weave to achieve. During National Small Business Week, join me in honoring the small businesses and entrepreneurs that are woven into our lives.
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This year the Alaska Railroad is celebrating 100 years of transportation people and cargo around Alaska. While the railroad is one of the states oldest transporters, it certainly isn’t the only one, and in this issue of Alaska Business we also check in on the Marine Highway, Span Alaska, and the White Pass & Yukon Route. For those interested in Southeast, our focus on that region provides updates on Kensington Mine, Tongass FCU, the troll fishery, and Juneau’s growing landfill.