Weekly Columns

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They account for 55 percent of all jobs in our economy and have provided 66 percent of all new jobs in the U.S. since the 1970s.

As our economy grows and evolves, entrepreneurial men and women across the country continue to open businesses that produce goods or provide services for the marketplace. We can do our part to help this economic engine that employs many of our family, friends and neighbors. Small Business Saturday is an opportunity for us to recognize the importance of local businesses and neighborhood retailers and the role they play in our communities.

Small Business Saturday occurs on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It has joined Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the post-Thanksgiving shopping blitz. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, 95 million people went out to shop at small businesses last year on Small Business Saturday to the benefit of locally-owned small businesses.

To highlight the many important contributions of our local businesses and neighborhood retailers, I cosponsored the Senate-passed resolution that supports Small Business Saturday. I am committed to creating a climate where businesses can succeed and consumers feel confident about spending their hard-earned income.

As a former small business owner, I recognize the difficulty these businesses face in planning for future growth and investment when health care and food costs are rising and energy costs remain uncertain. That’s why I’m fighting for small businesses in the Senate. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business association, honored me with the ‘Guardian of Small Business’ award because of my strong support for small businesses and I will continue to work with my colleagues and our next President to create pro-growth policies to support these businesses.

Producing more American energy, expanding our exports, investing in our infrastructure, cutting burdensome regulations and comprehensively reforming our tax code will spur growth and make our economy healthier, which will help the nearly 250,000 small businesses in Arkansas that employ over 400,000 people.

Americans recognize the importance of small businesses and we understand that the success of small businesses depends upon customers willing to support them. By choosing to shop locally this holiday season, we can bolster small businesses and make a big impact on our communities.

Small Business Saturday is gaining momentum. Previous years have been a big success, thanks in large part to the increased awareness about the contributions of small businesses to our economy. This year, Small Business Saturday falls on November 26th. Let’s do our part to generate economic growth in our communities by shopping at locally owned businesses and retailers.