When we talk about “creating jobs,” it’s important to remember where most of those jobs are generated – small businesses. Let’s take a look:
- 96 percent of all registered businesses in Washington have fewer than 50 employees.
- 41 percent of the state’s workforce works at a business with fewer than 50 employees.
- 1.9 million workers were hired by U.S. businesses with fewer than 500 employees during the recession of the early 2000s, while 2,000 workers were laid off by larger companies.
- 76 percent of GSI’s approximately 1,400 members members and partners have fewer than 50 employees and 95 percent have fewer than 500.
- Small firms with fewer than five employees account for 20 percent of jobs at business start-ups in the U.S.
- Washington ranked No. 3 in the U.S. in the number of business start-ups in 2006.
Collectively, small businesses have a big voice, and that’s why the Small Business Council exists: to provide a voice for small businesses in our region.
On December 3, 2010 the council provided such a voice. It met with City Administrator Ted Danek, Director of Business & Development Services Department Teresa Brum, and Business Development Specialist Andrew Worlock to discuss how we can both help and partner with the City of Spokane to support small business. The City utilized the Small Business Council to share some of the changes it is making and utilized the council as a sounding board for some of the Mayor’s “7 in ’11” – seven initiatives in 2011 the Mayor is committing to, to support small businesses.
“All walked away believing this is a real, genuine opportunity to improve the City’s business climate, and help play a role in making the City a partner in our business endeavors,” said council member and Executive Director of Spokane Entrepreneurial Center Steve Salvatori.
The City of Spokane is developing the seven initiatives to be announced in January 2011. As announced at the recent “Let’s Talk” public meeting with Mayor Verner, key initiatives like streamlining the permitting process and customer service are likely to make the list. These initiatives are being developed based on the feedback from the Small Business survey conducted by the City of Spokane.
GSI would like to thank all members who participated in this recent survey. Your voice was heard and every comment reviewed.
So what’s next? Stay tuned for details on Seven in ’11, and stay connected with our Small Business Council which exists to be a sounding board and advocate for your small business. View the council or contact staff liaison Heather Bennett for more info.