Mom and Pop stores give life to economy

Mom and Pop have been busy for longer than most of us can remember.
What has kept them occupied? In many communities throughout eastern New Mexico and across the nation, they’ve had their hands full running small businesses. They toil day and night, often running their businesses on razor-thin profit margins. They do so because they love the hard work and love serving their community.
This week, the Small Business Administration, along with local chambers of commerce, is paying tribute to small businesses with National Small Business Week.
The SBA defines any independently owned business with 500 or fewer employees as “small.” We all know, though, that small businesses in reality comprise organizations that fall far short of that benchmark. They often are the small family farm or ranch, of which there are plenty sprawled across the High Plains. They also include restaurants, the hardware store, the feed tack store, the saddle shop, the music store, the boutique, the barber shop or the plain old general store, the one that sells everything from candy bars to AA batteries to 30W motor oil.
The White House, in paying tribute to small businesses, noted the impact they have on the nation’s overall economy. The White House issued a statement that noted, “Small businesses create two out of three net new private-sector jobs in our economy. Today, half of all working Americans either own or work for a small business.”
Yes, small businesses are under siege at times. Gigantic retail outlets have taken their toll on the mom-and-pop stores, as has the Internet. The nation’s economy — which is beginning to show actual signs of recovery — also harmed many small businesses during the global financial meltdown of late 2008 and early 2009.
But the people who own these businesses persevere.
To honor these individuals, the SBA is urging Americans to patronize small businesses. Indeed, New Mexico has no shortage of resources designed to help small businesses thrive. The New Mexico Small Business Development Center has offices scattered across the state, with branches in Clovis and Tucumcari. Their task is to provide resources, counsel and guidance to those seeking to establish a small business in their community.
Mom and Pop still have an important role to play in our economic success story. There is a lot to be said for those who provide personal service and who will be among us tomorrow.
We thank them for all they do to give life to our economic well-being.

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