As we prepare to celebrate National Small Business Week starting Monday, Sept. 13, we gratefully acknowledge the 4,256 entrepreneurs and small businesses who hold business licenses in Carson City for their fortitude and patience as we continue to maneuver through this seemingly endless pandemic.
A whopping 99.2% of Nevada businesses are considered small by the U.S. Small Business Administration. That’s 297,183 business employing 500 or less where someone had a dream, took the risk, and through hard work now employ 523,771 Nevadans out of a workforce of 1,335,900. For the curious, 159,600 are employed by some form of government.
While we may have taken small businesses for granted pre-COVID, we learned how important each business is when some were forced to close by government mandate in mid-March 2020. At the stroke of a pen, our hairstylist, nail tech, favorite little gift shop, theaters, museums, casinos, concerts, retail, gyms, and more were shut down because they were deemed “non-essential.” We could no longer dine-in at our favorite restaurants instead opting to order our meals to go in Styrofoam containers. The “hard” shut down even extended to our doctors and dentists.
It’s hard to even think back to the days when suddenly hundreds of “non-essential” employees and self-employed found themselves without funds for housing and essentials causing a domino effect as other supporting businesses were forced to close.
Interestingly, women make up 46.4% of the Nevada workforce and own 45.3% of the small businesses identified in the state. This segment far exceeds businesses owned by veterans (7.5%), Hispanics (17.4%) or others considered racial minorities (21.9%). Though, as with all statistics, there are many factors to consider for in the overall women stats there certainly are veterans, Hispanics and other racial minorities.
Small business owners are the very fabric of a community and give it character. They pay taxes, create employment, and are there for non-profits who rely on their donations for the many fund-raisers. If there seems to be a demand not yet met for a goods or service, an entrepreneur will fill it whether a local florist, cobbler, spa, boutique, photographer, ice cream shop, or other need not yet met allowing us to keep our dollars in our community.
As we celebrate National Small Business Week, be sure to circulate your shopping dollars right here and thank that small business owner or employee for providing the service you want. The holidays are right around the corner, so begin shopping locally now or buy some gift cards for future use.
Who doesn’t dream of owning a small business where you can be the master of your own fate and express your individuality? Anyone with a great idea and a bit of capital can realize the American Dream pre or post retirement. A big shout out to our Carson City business community for you make us the special community for which we are known.
Ronni Hannaman is the executive director of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce.