Black History Month was initially conceived by Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard-trained historian, who hoped to raise awareness of Black people’s contributions to civilizations. The first celebration was held in February 1926 to honor the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Negro History Week later became African American History Month when our nation celebrated its bicentennial.(more…)
When I joined National Life almost fifteen years ago, the company had two sales channels, as it still does. This is typical for insurance companies and offers agents options to be closely aligned with the company or to work for independent agencies. Back then, there was a fierce rivalry between both of these channels. Field leaders didn’t mix or mingle, each thinking their way of doing business was better.(more…)
If you look back over the course of history, you’ll see that America was built off the success of small businesses. The expansion of our country was made possible by entrepreneurs and small business owners alike. For many, the American dream still consists of breaking free from the rigors of being an employee and starting to work for yourself. Some entrepreneurs create small businesses with aspirations of becoming the next Bill Gates, others simply want to be their own boss and take control of their life. To this day, small businesses remain an integral component to our nation’s economy and their impact is anything but small.
From 2000-2017, small businesses were responsible for creating a total of 8.4 million new jobs. Larger businesses over that same period of time only generated 4.4 million jobs, which means small businesses were responsible with creating two-thirds of new jobs! As the country begins to reopen and combats COVID-19, the success of small businesses will be a good barometer to gauge the health of the economy.
One of the most important things a small business does is employ local workers. Small businesses bring growth and prosperity to communities of all sizes. By helping stimulate the economies that they are embedded within, small businesses can be looked at as a catalyst for economic prosperity.
When money is spent at local small businesses, a portion of the money spent is redistributed back to the community in the form of taxes. These taxes help maintain the local infrastructure by helping to pay for things like local schools and other social programs. By spending locally, you’re indirectly investing back into your community. This type of spending is critical to our communities now more than ever. In order for communities to thrive, the small businesses within it must be successful to help support the economic ecosystem.
Innovation and Growth
Small businesses provide an opportunity for new ideas to come to fruition. As anyone who watches Shark Tank can attest to, any good idea must start somewhere. Small businesses and startup companies can leverage their innovative ideas to work with other local businesses to help improve efficiencies and productivity. As these small businesses unveil their new solutions and showcase their intellectual property, larger businesses within the community can benefit as well. Small businesses often play critical roles for bigger businesses by helping support their supply chain needs and/or other business activities that are being outsourced.
Small businesses across main street America are the economic engine that make our country go. From the rural mountain towns in Vermont to the big cities in Texas, small businesses create opportunities for employment and bring growth potential to the communities in which they are embedded. In times of economic turmoil, it’s imperative that small businesses continue to receive support from the communities they helped grow. That is how we all contribute to economic vitality. When we support small businesses, we help to weave a web of financial prosperity that is bigger than we are with a powerful ripple effect.
Tax season is here again. It happens every spring and it is typically met with varying degrees of mixed emotions. While paying taxes isn’t optional, we do have choices and actions available to change the outcome on our tax forms each year. This year, in response to the Coronavirus public health emergency, the federal tax filing date has been pushed to July 15th. While this extension may provide some the chance to procrastinate a bit longer, it is also provides a unique opportunity to elevate your understanding of your overall financial health.(more…)