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This week, we join the Small Business Administration in celebrating National Small Business Week.

The SBA has celebrated the week for more than half a century. But this year — as we struggle to come out of a global pandemic — it's even more important than ever to understand the contributions of small businesses as well as their plight to remain profitable.

More than half of Americans own or work for a small business, and they create nearly two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year, according to Forbes magazine.

Small businesses have shown tenacity, determination and ingenuity throughout the pandemic. In order to survive, they have to.

The SBA held a virtual summit this past week that featured topics such as "Getting Real about Resilience," "Make Your Small Business More Accessible," and "Winning in E-commerce with Email Marketing."

Our federal government took unprecedented steps to help small businesses over the past 1 1/2 years. Forbes said 42 percent of entrepreneurs applied for one or more PPP loans to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The loans helped many small businesses to survive. Here in Jefferson City, we suspect many businesses have quietly struggled to survive. Some have closed, but we've also seen many open. Just over the summer, one pizza restaurant opened and another announced plans to open.

Perhaps one day Jefferson City will even get the Holy Grail locals have clamored for since our city was founded in 1825: an Olive Garden.

People have gone back to in-restaurant dining for the most part. Now, we just need employees to keep them, and other businesses, running.

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-MO, said small business owners drive the U.S. economy and workforce, impacting every American.

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities; they are comprised of job creators and innovators alike," he said in a hearing on small businesses this week.

We concur. We honor our local small businesses and the people who work long hours each day to support their families and keep their business ownership dreams alive.

News Tribune

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