What’s good for small business is good for the world

Jim Blasingame

Americans are afforded a privilege which, while not rare, is certainly unavailable to billions of other Earthlings: We’re allowed to vote for those who represent us in government.

The words “privilege” and “allowed” are used with a purpose: The U.S. Constitution gives Americans the right to vote, but does not require us to do so. If voting were a legal requirement, in the 2000 election 100 million Americans could have been arrested, as pundits lamented the “Vanishing Voter” phenomenon.

But by the 2016 election, voter turnout had transmogrified from apathy to engagement with a record number of ballots cast – 137.5 million. Indeed, we’re experiencing one of the most promising phenomena of the current age: increasing fervor and investment of the American electorate in the political process.

Nothing bad happens when Americans get fired up about the political process, regardless of whether a voter spins to the left or the right or marks time in the middle, because taking a political position typically manifests in a more knowledgeable voter. And the best way for America’s challenges to be addressed is for those same voters to require political representatives to stand up and serve with leadership, rather than slouch with the self-anointed political class.

“What’s good for small business is good for the world,” is a slogan I coined and have been repeating for many years. There simply is no other sector in the marketplace that does as much for so many with so little. Planted in the ground as they are, with nowhere to hide, the way they go about their business is a clinic on how to be authentic and ethical. As a major part of the fabric of society, anything any other sector – including Washington – could do to support and promote Main Street businesses would ultimately accrue directly to the benefit of everyone else. And yet, too often respect dissolves into rhetoric, and promises of help are heavy on hyperbole.

But small business owners could do for themselves by doing one thing: Become a single-issue voter for your business. We all have our personal political proclivities. But have you ever thought that the one thing that allows you to have the time and resources to support those other causes is the success of your business? The best way for small business owners to make the world a better place is to advocate for our businesses first.

If small business owners were as politically organized and influential as other single-issue groups, like unions or Wall Street, we could rule the world and the world would be the better for it. If small business were a country, Wikipedia would describe Small Business USA like this: Population: 125 million (owners, employees and dependents). Gross Domestic Product: Largest on the planet. Contribution to society: Widespread, significant, essential. Organized political influence for its own interests: Negligible.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Small Business America has many reasons to catch the tide of electoral fervor and become more involved in the political process. And with the significance of our contribution, we have even more reasons to advocate for our businesses first.

Write this on a rock … This year, be a single-issue voter – for your small business.

Jim Blasingame is host of The Small Business Advocate Show and author of The 3rd Ingredient, the Journey of Analog Ethics into the World of Digital Fear and Greed and The Age of the Customer.


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