The buck starts here, but stops elsewhere

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I have to agree wholeheartedly with David DeCristoforo’s latest blog on the sad state of small business. But there’s yet another factor, I think.

David’s thoughts, and those of the L.A. Times article he cites, are right in that the hiring that pulls us out of the economic dumper usually begins with small business. But what hasn’t been mentioned is that much of the spending that has to occur to jumpstart a down economy must also begin with small business.

Sure, for any recovery to be meaningful, consumers must start spending again. But for small businesses to even function, they must spend, too. When consumers don’t spend, they often can simply do without; but when small businesses don’t spend, they are forced to – as David phrased it – “park.” Except on the most basic level of just staying alive small businesses don’t grow, they don’t hire, they don’t produce, and they don’t pump needed dollars into the economy. To paraphrase the old line, the buck starts here. With us, small businesses. And until small business can start spending again, that buck isn’t going to stop anywhere.

Like David, I’m parked until more work comes my way. I’m hanging in there, but there’s no boost to the economy coming from the Hamler house. I suspect many of you are in the same situation.

What we should have done or not done regarding those big bailouts is moot now, and while now we can accurately point to that money doing more good directed toward small business, it wasn’t. Thus, it’s water over the dam, spilled milk, and what’s-done-is-done. Pick your own cliché.

Solutions? I don’t have any. Like you, I’m waiting for someone bigger than me to recover first, so my small business can reap the trickle-down benefits, and then begin the trickle-up process that happens when small business starts spending again. Then, of course, as soon as small businesses start to recover, there’s that repressive, crippling self-employment tax just biding its time, lying in wait for its next opportunity to hobble us. 

But that’s a whole ’nother blog.

Till next time,


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