Thanksgiving 2020: An Attitude of Gratitude

By at 25 November, 2020, 10:59 am

By Karen Kerrigan-

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others. – Cicero

Indeed, I am very grateful for many, many things in 2020: my family, my health, my friends, SBE Council supporters and members, and the ongoing opportunity to advocate for entrepreneurs and small businesses – especially during this challenging period in our nation’s history.

In this week’s Growth Without Barriers podcast with host Gregg Stebben, we highlight several things all of us should be grateful for:

The grittiness, ingenuity, and optimism of small business owners. These unsung heroes are keeping countless local economies and jobs afloat through their resiliency, quick thinking, risk-taking and hard work.

The entrepreneurial spirit, which is alive and well in America! As I cover in my discussion with Gregg, business applications are surging, and high-propensity business applications (those with a higher likelihood of launching soon after filing, and adding employees) total about 1.4 million. That is 15% higher than last year. Entrepreneurship and new business creation is needed now more than ever.

Technology and tech platforms. Operating – or trying to operate – in the COVID-19 economy would have been far more difficult without technology, which has enabled many small businesses to “pivot,” reinvent themselves, and operate during restricted or shutdown periods. Access to tech tools and platforms are also lowering barriers to startup entry, which is likely why we are seeing the surge in new businesses during this period. As we reported in an early summer 2020 tech survey, 76% of small business owners said that technology platforms and cloud services have been critical to the survival and operation of their business during COVID-19, and 84% report that these tools have improved employee productivity and collaboration. New customers, new markets, new ways of engaging and operating – technology and platforms have been a critical lifeline for small businesses everywhere.

Resources and networks that help entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. The list is long, but every American should be grateful that they have easy access to an ecosystem of training, support and mentors to help them launch or grow a business.

Small business customers and investors. Both have stepped up to help local Main Street businesses survive and even thrive by helping them embrace new business models. It all comes down to capital and revenue, and our fellow Americans are helping to save one small business at a time through their loyalty and confidence in these businesses.

Thankful for Startups Combating COVID-19

One of SBE Council’s sweet spots as an organization is researching and promoting data about how every U.S. industry sector is dominated by small, entrepreneurial businesses. SBE Council chief economist Ray Keating recently authored a piece that highlights small business data across sectors and how these firms are working to make our lives better during COVID-19.

The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) has also created a tracker on its website that documents the many types of startups helping to address the COVID-19 crisis. As noted above, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well and policy leaders and elected officials must do all they can to support this critical ecosystem.

Tis the Season to Support Small Business

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is officially Small Business Saturday 2020. As one of the founding partners in this important effort back in 2010, SBE Council believes the annual focus on supporting small and local businesses during the holiday season has generated significant public awareness about the critical role small businesses play in local economies and the broader U.S. economy. Hopefully, shoppers will make November 28, 2020 a banner day for Main Street America.

Please continue to “shop local” and “shop small” on all the key days that span this big shopping weekend, and of course up through the holidays and beyond.

Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours!

Karen Kerrigan is president & CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.



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