Standing in front of the crowd at the recent Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards luncheon, I was awed to see so many supporters of the small business community.
This support is exactly what we need to help boost the economy as we continue to watch the Dow Jones Industrial Average fluctuate and read bleak business headlines on a daily basis.
Small businesses and organizations, such as the Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center, need our support now more than ever. By backing entrepreneurs, we encourage economic activity, creating an increase in production levels and spurring businesses to add jobs. These new employees will spend their earned wages on goods and services that are produced by these firms, further adding to production levels. This cycle continues, prompting additional economic growth. Likewise, any reduction in small business support will decrease overall economic activity and can shrink the overall economy.
But why is it vital to focus on small businesses and not the larger companies? It's these small companies that continue to adapt and change and grow.
Research by the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy shows that small businesses create most of the nation's net new jobs. It also revealed that small businesses are 13 times more innovative, and they bring dynamic ideas and fresh products to the marketplace.
It is this innovative mindset that landed Terry Daniel and Lou Pringle of Exhaust Productions Inc. in the limelight. The entrepreneurs were honored with the 2008 Small Business Person of the Year Award at this year's luncheon. When manufacturing started to shift to China, the team decided to switch gears by moving into the performance motorcycle industry and Rush Racing products.
By taking the time to recognize companies, such as Exhaust Productions Inc., the Northwest Indiana SBDC is continuing to foster the development of small businesses and spotlight the entrepreneurial spirit. It is our mission to have a positive and measurable impact on the formation and growth of small businesses in the region and state. We have workshops, one-on-one consulting, referrals, training and other essential business tools to help guide small business owners toward success.
The entrepreneur is a risk-taker. It takes courage to make the leap, which is why community support and resources, such as the NWI SBDC, can make such a big difference.