Each year, the Small Business Administration recognizes a Small Business Person of the Year from every state, as well as several U.S. territories. Many of this year’s winners visited the White House last week, as part of our Champions of Change program. On Friday, I attended a lunch honoring all of the 2011 award winners, and got the chance to thank some of the incredible entrepreneurs who are helping us win the future.
The men and women who came to DC for the event represented the full breadth of the small business experience in the United States – everything from baking to business consulting, from marine observation to medical-equipment rental. No matter what industry they come from, or what business model they pursue, their companies, and others like them, are making crucially important contributions to our country. As President Obama has often said, small businesses are, “the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of America’s promise.”
In fact, small businesses and entrepreneurs employ half of America’s workers, and create two out of every three new jobs. And of course, iconic American companies, from McDonald’s and Microsoft to Ford and Facebook, began as small businesses. As we recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression, entrepreneurship is one of our most powerful economic engines.