Counting on Small Businesses

Have you ever thought about what our community would be like without small businesses?

For starters, half of us would be out of work because small businesses employ 48 percent of U.S. employees, according to the Small Business Administration.

On a national scale, without small businesses the economy would grow stagnant. According to estimates, 64 percent of new private sector jobs come from small businesses.

The downtown areas of our communities would certainly look very different if they were completely shuttered, as small businesses make up the heart of most business communities.

And while it may not be so obvious, think of the sports teams, community events and charitable organizations that count on donations and sponsorships from our small-business community.

I would even argue that many small businesses, such as HCTC, are what help give our communities their identities.

In short, we need our small businesses. The U.S. Small Business Administration has declared April 29-May 5 as National Small Business Week. It is a designation that goes back to 1963, aiming at celebrating small businesses locally and around the nation. Please join me in supporting them and commending them for the long hours, dedication and commitment to their customers that have made them a part of the fabric of our communities.

At HCTC, we’re proud to be one of those small businesses, but we’re also proud to support many small businesses throughout our region with our advanced broadband network.

As you’ve seen in the pages of recent magazines, there are plenty of examples where local small businesses rely on a broadband connection to place orders, send emails, interact with customers on social media, improve efficiency in their operation and stay competitive regionally and globally.

Broadband helps make the world a smaller place, which helps small businesses. Did you know that 98 percent of the companies that export products overseas are small businesses? In fact, according to the Department of Commerce, one-third of U.S. merchandise exports are from small and mid-sized businesses. I think it’s safe to assume that when small businesses communicate with customers or suppliers overseas, they aren’t sending letters — they’re using their broadband connection from providers like HCTC.

A recent report revealed small businesses that access global markets over the internet have a 30 percent higher survival rate than similar businesses that aren’t connected.

We live in an exciting time when a small startup company or even a longtime family business has access to a local, regional, national and even global market because of broadband.

Our community counts on small businesses, and small businesses count on HCTC. We are proud to support them with the technology needed to thrive in today’s economy.

Alan Link 
Chief Executive Officer