A COUPLE OF business-themed national events were already in the rear-view mirror by the time this magazine went to print, but even in the past tense, they deserve some exposure.
The first, on April 30, was “America’s PrepareAthon,” a day of action designated by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The purpose was to encourage individuals, organizations, and especially businesses to create a disaster preparedness plan if they didn’t already have one. Do you have a disaster plan?
After 2004, the “Year of the Four Hurricanes,” people in Polk County and throughout Florida began to make hurricane preparation a higher priority, but what about weather you don’t see coming for days? What about tornadoes, floods, or the sometimes-freak thunderstorms we get here in Central Florida?
A business owner will ask a lot of hard questions after a disaster damages, guts, or destroys his or her establishment. The FEMA folks don’t want the final question to be: “Why didn’t I prepare for this?”
The second event that deserves some extra ink is National Small Business Week, observed May 4-8. Small businesses, started by risk-takers filled with the entrepreneurial spirit, create nearly two out of every three new U.S. jobs every year. Small businesses also get the credit from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen for having led the economy out of the “Great Recession” of a few years back.
Small businesses often don’t get the public respect they deserve for their huge impact on the U.S. economy, but at least they get some respect from the Office of the President. Through the administrator of U.S. Small Business Administration, entrepreneurs have a seat at the president’s Cabinet, and among all the nations of the world, that’s the exception rather than the rule.
column by BAXTER TROUTMAN
BIO: Baxter Troutman is founder and chief executive officer of Labor Solutions, a staffing company with offices in Bartow, Winter Haven, Lake Wales, and Arcadia. A citrus grower who served in the Florida House of Representatives, Troutman understands the challenges and concerns of today’s farmer.