The approximately 30 million small businesses in the U.S. serve as the foundation of the American economy. Their names may not make headlines in financial periodicals, and the individuals who run them must often engage in constant and laborious efforts to keep everything going. Yet without these companies, we would lack two of every three net new jobs created within the private sector, according to the Small Business Administration.
"Two of every three net new jobs in America are created by small businesses."
In an effort to bring greater recognition to the tenacity and ingenuity of these businesses' owners, the SBA recently celebrated the 65th annual iteration of National Small Business Week, from April 30 to May 4. This included a variety of different agency-sponsored events around the country, as well as the announcement of various awards honoring remarkable owners
2018's SBA Small Business Person of the Year
When Rebecca Fyffe took control of Chicago-area firm Landmark Pest Control in 2001, the business had less-than-estimable prospects, and she faced an uphill battle as a 25-year-old CEO. Over the following 17 years, Fyffe shattered any skeptical assessments of her as America's youngest leader of a pest control company.
She supervised the development and implementation of innovative extermination processes, set groundwork for expanding operations to neighboring states this year and more than quadrupled the full-time staff. Recognizing her efficacious leadership, SBA Administrator Linda McMahon named Fyffe the Small Business Person of the Year for 2018 to start National Small Business Week.
"Rebecca has built an exemplary pest control firm and is so deserving of this award," McMahon said in an April 30 release announcing the winner. "She has been an inspirational leader in STEM, embracing science and technology to innovate in her field and beyond."
Owners should seek all available resources
When announcing Fyffe's award, McMahon noted that SBA support helped the Landmark CEO improve her business. Specifically, Fyffe took advantage of a 7(a) SBA-backed loan, as well as counsel and assistance from one of the agency's Women's Development Centers.
This constitutes an important takeaway from National Small Business Week: Owners must always take advantage of all resources available to them when they need help, be it financing, advice, new technologies or other services.
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