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On Main Street in New Washington sits the 1894 Lodge, a community staple where families and friends gather on basketball game night and local firefighters meet between shifts. A Clark County institution, 1894 and the Hoosiers who run it are constantly giving back and donating to the community they serve. On Silver Street in New Albany sits Aebersold Florist, a third-generation, family-owned flower shop that, for over 100-years, has provided flowers for local weddings, ceremonies, birthdays, and special-occasions. Adrienne and Co. is a true family business that grew from one location in Jeffersonville to several around the area. Bright and early each morning, they start serving up breakfast, baked goods, and cakes that are almost too beautiful to eat.

Across Indiana, small businesses like these make up who we are. They give us success stories that fill us with pride when telling friends about shops and businesses from back home. They define where we work, where we sip coffee, and where we gather for dinner with family on Sunday evenings.

 

But, our local businesses do more than make up the beloved storefronts of Main Streets across the country. The strength of America’s small businesses is this: There are 29 million small businesses in the United States; two-thirds of all new jobs are created by them; 47 percent of private sector employees work for them; and 46 percent of private sector output comes from them. They’re a powerful force in our economy, providing jobs to our neighbors, investment in our communities, and excitement for our future as they grow and innovate.

Over the past almost two years, ensuring our Hoosier small businesses have the resources they need to thrive has been a top priority of mine. Many small businesses face significant challenges in raising adequate capital to expand, hire workers, and achieve their goals. I introduced the Expanding Investment Opportunities Act (H.R. 4279) to provide small businesses greater access to the money they need to hire Hoosiers, the Fostering Innovation Act (H.R. 1645) to empower Hoosier biopharmaceutical companies on the cutting edge of scientific and medical research, and the Improving Access to Capital Act (H.R. 2864) to open up additional options for entrepreneurs to grow their business.

 

These bills all address different challenges that growing companies face but have a common goal of allowing anyone — from a start-up in a garage to your local coffee shop expanding to a second location — to achieve the goals they have set for themselves and reach success they could have never imagined.

The heart and soul of America has never been our gigantic industries or massive multi-national corporations but rather businesses like those you find around the corner or down the street; small businesses, family businesses. Stores where the owners, managers, and employees know your name, and you ask about their grandkids. Companies that care about our community because they’re a part of the community. The owners, the employees, the customers, and the suppliers are what made our economy what it is today. And today on Small Business Saturday, let’s remember to stop by, say thank you, and shop small.

This article originally ran in the News and Tribune. 


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