How Main Street built America

We are celebrating National Small Business Week. It could be called Putting America First Week because that’s what small businesses do every day, every week, every year.

Some say when it comes to business, bigger is better, bringing “greater efficiency.”

I say: Small is beautiful.

Nothing is more efficient, or greater, than the human factor you find in small business.

Shopping at a locally owned business keeps more of your money circulating in your community. When the business needs someone to swing a hammer, fix a roof or make deliveries, they hire locally, maybe someone you know.

When they need to repair the delivery truck or buy a new one, they use a local merchant down the street, someone else you know. And when they take a profit out of the business, they spend that in your neighborhood, too.

Did you know small businesses make up 99.7 percent of all businesses in America? They support our communities and our values, sponsoring local sports teams, scholarships and places of worship.

They provide jobs, training, apprenticeships and opportunities for this generation and the next in communities across the country. Small business is the heart and soul of America, and it has been right from the start.

Family owned workshops and farms formed the foundation of our country.  Paul Revere was a silversmith and coppersmith, and the company he founded, Revere Copper, still exists today, one of 30.2 million small businesses employing almost 60 million Americans.

I saw the enormous contribution small businesses make up close when I had the honor of serving President Trump as the head of the Small Business Administration. SBA’s charter recognizes how small businesses embody free competition, personal initiative and judgment, and are essential to the economic well-being and security of our nation.

As SBA Administrator I visited the Made in America Store outside Buffalo. This is the nation’s only 100 percent Made in America department store, with more than 9,000 products made by 500+ independently owned manufacturers, all small businesses.

Their products include high-quality hand tools by ChannelLock, a Meadville, Pennsylvania company founded by the DeArment family in 1886 and now run by the fifth generation of the family.

And Kitchen Craft Cookware, manufactured in West Bend, Wisconsin for over 110 years. This family-owned company makes energy-efficient cookware using 100 percent American technology.

Also Wigwam Mills has been knitting high quality socks in Sheboygan, Wisconsin for over a hundred years, the favorite of everyone from Jerry Lewis to college students and athletes around the world.

These businesses are committed to their employees and their communities as well as their products. They stuck with America when the corporate giants shuttered their U.S. plants and moved offshore.

Small business spirit is the spirit that made America. Like the Founders of our country, the founders of small businesses are nonconformists, gamblers, individuals who stand apart from the crowd, willing to risk everything on a dream and vision.


The challenge of competition thrills them, and their leadership and hard work -- they are first to show up in the morning, last to leave in the evening -- inspires those around them. Theirs is the spirit of “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Linda McMahon is the former Small Business Administrator and current Chair of America First ActionOpens a New Window., the primary super PAC supporting President Trump's reelection.