For the last 12 years that I have been president and CEO of TriNet, one of my greatest joys has been having a front-row seat to the incredible innovation of TriNet’s 18,000+ small and medium-size business (SMB) customers across the nation. Every day I work for the scientists, activists, innovators, inventors, risk-takers, tech geniuses and entrepreneurs who shape the U.S. economy. I have seen them face obstacles, withstand economic downturns, try and fail, and bounce back again and again. But I have never witnessed SMBs go through anything like the challenges they have faced in 2020.
We have watched this year as the small and local businesses around us have endured setbacks, pivoted their operations, struggled to take care of their people, endured constant uncertainty, moved on to new endeavors when it became necessary and, above all, continued to prove their resilience. America’s entrepreneurs have shown true grit and determination this year and they deserve our unwavering support, now more than ever. Their success and our success are inter-dependent, and it is imperative that we consider giving SMBs a prime place in our daily lives.
Small Business Saturday is a wonderful opportunity to remember the vital role we all play in helping America’s local, small and other independently owned companies remain strong. However, it is important we also remember to support our SMBs beyond November 28—and well beyond the pandemic. I have shared my thoughts before on why supporting small and medium-size businesses is so important and I feel it even more strongly this year.
Here are just a few reasons why we should all shop small this Saturday and every opportunity we have.
1) Small businesses are heroes
TriNet clients come from a broad range of industries and all serve varied purposes as they work toward their individual missions. What they all have in common, however, is that they are constantly building products and services to improve the lives of their customers.
Our life sciences clients are researching and revolutionizing innovative solutions to help us lead healthier lives. Mammoth Biosciences, for instance, worked rapidly at the start of the pandemic to make COVID-19 testing more efficient, while Surgical Theater used virtual reality to educate the public on the severity of damage from the virus, and Biodesix helped reduce the instances of false negatives in COVID testing.
Our nonprofit clients are working to bring vital services to the less fortunate and fighting to help make the world a better place for all of us. Recent examples of this important work is Hot Bread Kitchen, which provided emergency relief to women in the food industry during the crisis and World Housing Solution, whose rapidly deployable shelters have been used as overflow hospital units.
Meanwhile, technology clients such as MobLab are reinventing remote learning by providing educators with their experiential learning technology at no cost during the pandemic and Re:3D is using large-scale printing technology to help provide healthcare equipment to fill supply gaps. These are just a few of the thousands of examples of how TriNet clients deeply influence our lives when we need them most.
2) Small businesses improve the community
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are over 31 million small businesses in the U.S., as of 2020, accounting for an astronomical 99.9% of all U.S. businesses and over 47% of the U.S. workforce. Small businesses clearly have an enormous impact—not only on our national economy but also on our local neighborhoods, where they create jobs and recirculate money into the community.
3) Small businesses may be the next big businesses
Think about the products and services with which you interact on a daily basis. From the electronics you use to the car you drive to your child’s favorite toy to your favorite brand of shampoo—each of these items was once just a big idea that some entrepreneur was able to parlay into big business. A testament to the result of ambition, resiliency, and hard work—further empowered by the support of people like you and me.
4) Small business owners are an inspiration
The strength and resiliency of our nation to get through any crisis was proven overwhelmingly in 2020 by millions of small business owners. I am awestruck at the difficulties that were thrown at these businesses overnight and how, eight months later, so many of them continue to get up every day and fight for their dream. Watching the amazing people and small businesses I interact with—whether they are clients of TriNet or those at my favorite sushi restaurant in the strip mall near my home—or the many other local shops I am fortunate to have in my neighborhood—truly fuels me to keep working every day to help them continue to persevere through 2020 and beyond.
I know 2020 has been a year like no other—and especially for our nation’s small businesses. Let’s all try to do our part and provide them with our support where possible this Small Business Saturday.