EDITORIAL Stillwater NewsPress, Okla.
This is the week to celebrate the Main Street entrepreneur. National Small Business Week runs through Friday.
It's the 52nd consecutive year that a United States presidents has declared one week per year to celebrate small businesses.
"National Small Business Week is a chance to honor our nation's 28 million small businesses and renew our commitment to fostering the entrepreneurial spirit that is central to the American experience, Small Business Administration Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said in a press statement.
So what is a small business?
It depends on who you ask.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, a small business is any business with fewer than 500 employees that is not dominant in its field nationally. Commerce departments in many states define a small business as one that employs up to 100.
One thing is certain.
Small businesses are critical to the U.S. economy. For every major industry or retailer, there are hundreds of mom-and-pop retailers or local industries that drive local economies.
It doesn't take much effort to find a local entrepreneur in Stillwater or around Payne County.
It does take you to ensure these entrepreneurs stay in business.
It is so important to patronize local retailers and industries.
It's so easy to jump on the Internet to purchase an item, but often you must pay shipping and handling costs and wait for delivery.
So, it's really not that much of a bargain.
Local retailers and industries invest in their communities. Web stores don't. You will see a Stillwater bank, for example, sponsoring a youth sports team. The large nationwide or regional banks don't do that.
When you spend $1 in Stillwater, the city and county receive the sales tax revenue. Online stores don't pay sales taxes. It's National Small Business Week. Celebrate it by buying locally.