Main Street Matters

Almost 7 years ago, The South Carolina Small Business Chamber made an economic development proposal to a S.C. House Rural Caucus. Extend the job tax credits available to big businesses that add 10 new jobs to small businesses that create just one new job.

Our argument was very simple. A job is a job. Ten small businesses adding one new worker each is just as important for economic development as a big business adding 10.

The following year, the S.C. Legislature went almost that far. They made job tax credits available to any small business hiring at least two net new workers with the value of the tax credits being dependent on the economic status of the county.

Since that time our national and state economies collapsed. Now more than ever, every job is important.

At yesterday’s opening of the 20th National Microenterprise Conference, the message was clear.

If just one in three microbusinesses hired a single employee, the United States would be at full employment.

The Association for Enterprise Opportunity, which sponsors the conference, picked “the Power of One in Three” as the theme because, with the proper attention, our nation’s microbusinesses (0-4 employees) have the power to rebuild our economy because they represent 88% of all the country’s businesses.

Instead states and counties spend most of their time and money trying to recruit big business away from other states and counties. We’re not usually increasing net new jobs—just moving those jobs around on the map.

Our small and microbusinesses aren’t moving. Any job they create is a net new job for the state and the nation. That’s building sustainable economies. Main Street Matters.

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