Whether it’s the local coffee shop where they know your order by heart, the antique store with the best treasures, the local ice cream shop where the children head after a little league game, or the family-owned restaurant where you gather with your loved ones, small businesses across the nation serve as the lifeblood of our communities. This week, we celebrate National Small Business week, an opportunity to honor the successes of our friends and neighbors who work hard to support our communities and achieve their American Dream.
In my hometown, Miss Kitty’s Place is synonymous with the town of St. Elizabeth. Whether it’s an after-church lunch, a birthday celebration, or dinner with family and friends, our local diners and restaurants feel more like a second home than a business.
Since President Donald Trump was elected, more than 5.8 million jobs have been created. Last month, the economy added an unbelievable 263,000 jobs, far exceeding market expectations. Unemployment is at the lowest level in a generation, and we continue to have more job openings than available workers to fill them. With American economic growth consistently outpacing expectations and hitting record highs over the last two years, small business owners are increasingly optimistic.
In Missouri, we have more than half a million small businesses, employing 47 percent of all Missouri employees. Across America, small businesses employ 59 million workers, or more than one-third of the labor force. Additionally, small businesses account for two out of every three new jobs in our country. As we continue to unleash our nation’s economic potential, 60 percent of small business owners expect revenue to increase in the next year which will grow our local economies and create even more jobs in towns across Missouri.
With Small Business Week coming to a close, I’m proud to say the state of our economy is strong due to the power of our small businesses. Although we often hear about what divides us, our nation has proven that extraordinary accomplishments are possible with bipartisan cooperation. Our economy is stronger than ever and if we all continue to support American prosperity, together we will ensure generations of Americans can take advantage of a flourishing nation.
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., shares his perspective each week on national issues, including ones that affect Missouri. He represents the state’s 3rd District, which includes Jefferson City. His local office can be reached at 635-7232.