Small Business Week celebrates Colorado’s entrepreneurial spirit!
Congratulations to all 2015 Small Business Week award winners and thank you for your commitment and dedication to the great State of Colorado. Each year since 1963, the President has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. Small Business Week has become a national celebration to recognize the critical impact of our outstanding small business owners, lenders, and resource partners.
It can be easy to forget the importance that small business has in our lives, in our communities, and across our state. It was the 1920’s political humorist Will Rogers that said “A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.” After meeting some of our Small Business Week winners I know I have become a bit smarter because these men and women are some of the most imaginative, creative, innovative, and business smart people I have ever met. People like Teresa Porter, CEO of ISYS Technologies and this year’s Colorado Small Business Person of the Year, and the eight other statewide winners, all have their own stories to tell, their own lessons to teach, and their own challenges they overcame.
Owning and running a small business is hard. With more than 560,000 small firms in Colorado, employing over one million people – small business is the heart and soul of our state’s economy. That’s at least 560,000 Coloradans that must make payroll each week; need to collect and pay taxes regularly; and have a sense of personal responsibility to their employees and their families for their well-being. Small business owners are required to wear many different hats. They are the company’s sales force, IT administrators, janitors, delivery person, head cheerleader, and accountant. All these functions in addition to being a mother, father, parent, soccer coach, school volunteer, caretaker, brother, sister, and friend. Yes, it is very difficult to own and operate a successful small business. That is why these awards are so important and notable – and memorable.
Colorado is one of the best states in the nation to start and grow a small business. Each of our Small Business Week winners exemplifies the importance of entrepreneurship in this state. Small business remains the backbone of our economy; they maintain our local tax base, hire locally, and support our local community organizations and non-profits like our schools, little league teams, libraries, and churches. It was Thomas Watson Sr, the former CEO of IBM that said “To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.” That statement rings true today. To start a small business you must have passion, vision, and inspiration to make a successful go of it. I am so proud of each of our winners and for the passion they show each and every day.
Once again, congratulations to our Colorado Small Business Week Winners, and thank you for helping us celebrate their tremendous success.
(Stan Nakano serves as the SBA’s acting Region VIII Administrator and is based in Salt Lake City. He oversees the agency’s programs and services in Colorado, Montana, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.)