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Small business … big impact

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  • OPINIONState Journal EditorialsMore>>

  • Business community must raise a voice against status quo

    Business community must raise a voice against status quo

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:00:23 GMT
    As our state's business leaders gather at The Greenbrier this week for the 2014 West Virginia Business Summit, we hope they have a sense of urgency and realize what they must do to bring this state into the 21st century.
    As our state's business leaders gather at The Greenbrier this week for the 2014 West Virginia Business Summit, we hope they have a sense of urgency and realize what they must do to bring this state into the 21st century.
  • Lesson from Ferguson: Do not lose hope

    Lesson from Ferguson: Do not lose hope

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-08-22 12:00:24 GMT
    The images from Ferguson, Missouri, look like snapshots from a war zone. We still don't know why city police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, but we do know the fallout shines a glaring light on what happens when scores of people are disconnected from the American Dream.
    The images from Ferguson, Missouri, look like snapshots from a war zone. We still don't know why city police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, but we do know the fallout shines a glaring light on what happens when scores of people are disconnected from the American Dream.
  • Political bickering overshadows need for change

    Political bickering overshadows need for change

    Friday, August 15 2014 11:39 AM EDT2014-08-15 15:39:41 GMT
    New ideas and ways to move our state and nation forward are in short supply during this election season.
    New ideas and ways to move our state and nation forward are in short supply during this election season.

Small businesses are the backbone of not only our financial system, but also our communities.

Small business leaders offer employment opportunities and sustainable, bona fide local investment. They support community efforts in countless ways — from sponsoring the local little league team to generous donations many of us might not ever learn about, these men and women contribute. Small businesses also represent an unshakable tenant of our nation’s promise: hard work, determination and an entrepreneurial spirit can help anyone build a better life. It’s this promise that leads a worker to leave a job to become his own boss, propels a basement inventor to take her product to the marketplace or inspires an amateur chef to open a restaurant.

Starting a business anywhere is certainly not easy, but in West Virginia, this is an especially challenging task. In so many other parts of the country, working hard, being innovative and finding new and exciting ways to separate yourself from the competition often brings success. You have to wonder how true that is in West Virginia. Long hours, sacrifices both big and small and an eye toward tomorrow are no guarantee of anything. But in our state, even those much-needed and necessary qualities often mean little.

In the face of all that, there are those who press on, determined to carve out their pieces of the American dream right here in the Mountain State. This week, we join the U.S. Small Business Administration in honoring the brave ones, the risk takers, the dreamers — those who saw an opportunity and had the courage to take it. We honor their resolve, their spirit and their willingness to do something more. They put aside their fears and trepidations and, quite simply, went for it.

Our hope is that our elected leaders will be inspired by these men and women and see to it that others not only have the same chance, but also when the next generation of visionaries summons the fortitude to pursue their dream, they’ll do so in a state that has a tax code that encourages growth and investment, ensures that fairness, not politics, takes precedence in its courts and offers a world-class education that prepares students of every age for life in the 21st Century. This state has more potential that we could ever imagine, and we salute those who may see what others may not. We salute those small business owners who are truly working every day for a better West Virginia.