Take on topics
The article was attached to the email and I sat down and read it. It’s funny how something you wrote two years ago rings even more true today.
The article was entitled “Make New Friends but Keep the Old”:
While reading an article on “economic development” it inspired me to write about how important all our small businesses are. This particular article was talking about an area that hosts a meeting once a year and invites the businesses to attend. They fill out surveys and talk about the small business concerns and the obstacles that they face.
For years all we have heard about is tax incentives for new businesses while ignoring the existing ones. I am all for new jobs and growth. But we need to also not forget our existing businesses. It is easier to keep jobs in one’s own community than to create new ones.
Robb Gragg from The Oklahoma Department of Commerce, was a guest speaking here in 2009 on Economic Development. Something he said has stuck with me. This is not an exact quote. It went something like this “you better get together with your existing businesses and do a little loving up on them, because it’s easier and cheaper to retain jobs than to recruit new ones. For every existing business that loses employees you will have to work harder and invest more money to bring in new jobs.”
I am not talking about financial incentives or bail outs. What I am talking about is actually listening to the small businesses. Sometimes our greatest concern is knowing that those who make decisions for us are aware of what our problems are. When I know they truly understand I feel like they will make better decisions on our behalf.
There has been a swing in the trends from trying to get major industrial jobs to realizing how important it is to save existing jobs. A poor economy will make you stand up and take note every time. And let’s not forget that over 80 percent of all jobs come from small businesses.
I bet they get more information from these meetings than you would expect. Gathering these facts might produce leads for new business to assist the existing businesses. Simple things like: What do you need? Who and where do you get supplies from? What is the biggest obstacle that you face right now?
I guess it reminds me of the current retail promotions. You know the ones that give you the huge discounts if you become a new customer, while the loyal customer that has been with the company for years gets nothing. It does seem backwards sometimes doesn’t it? I always remember a little saying I learned in Brownies “Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold”.
Until next week…