When small things are big

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Contributing Editor
Walt Pickut

Never overlook the little things. This is an ancient story, but it’s still true today.

For Want of a Nail
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

So, how big are other little things today? Consider these examples:

  • An Airbus A380 jet plane weighs about 120,000 pounds and cruises at about 500 mph. But a couple of small Canada Geese brought down one of those planes—US Airways Flight 1549— with 150 people on board in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009. Big plane, small birds.
  • The Space Shuttle Colombia weighed 4.4 million pounds and generated nearly nine-million pounds of thrust, but a small chunk of foam insulation hit its wing and brought it down killing all eight astronauts on board on February 1, 2003. Big rocket, small debris.
  • And sometimes the littlest things are big enough to save the day. A tiny device inside a smoke or carbon monoxide detector can save a million-dollar home or something even more valuable, human lives—thousands every year. Small gadgets, big saves.

Now, consider one more: Small Businesses. In America, small business is a big deal.

As of 2020 the United States was home to 31.7 million small businesses that create more than half of all new jobs. That’s more than 99 percent of America’s 28.7 million companies. There’s really nothing small about America’s small businesses.

National Small Business Week, September 13 to 17, celebrates Resilience and Renewal this year, special topics in the ongoing saga of a worldwide pandemic.

This week, your Jamestown Gazette, one of our own locally owned small businesses, invites all of our readers to join us in celebrating the strong, courageous small business entrepreneurs in our midst.

With small businesses making up such a big part—nearly all—of the local and national economy, there must be no room for failure. It is not an option.

And maybe equally important to the economic impact of small businesses is how it both creates and reflects and the moral and ethical backbone of the United States

“Small business people are people with goals and values that can’t be calculated on a profit and loss statement,” said Linda McMahon, the 25th administrator of the United States Small Business Administration.

So especially for National Small Business Week, please shop locally, patronize your friends and neighbors, and celebrate their resilience, renewal, and creativity throughout our communities.

“Behind every small business, there’s a story worth knowing. All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salons, hardware stores—these didn’t come out of nowhere,” according to retired US Congressman Paul Ryan.

And with your very own Jamestown Gazette in hand, the product of another successful local small business… Enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut
Contributing Editor