Small businesses deserve recognition

Stan Nakano
Stan Nakano

Congratulations to all the 2015 Small Business Week award winners, and thank you for your ongoing commitment to Colorado.   Each year since 1963, the president of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week to recognize the critical contributions of entrepreneurs and small business owners.

More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. Small Business Week has become a national celebration to recognize the critical impact of our outstanding small business owners, lenders and resource partners.

It can be easy to forget the importance small businesses have in our lives, communities and across our state. It was the 1920s political humorist Will Rogers who said ,“A man only learns in two ways, one by reading and the other by association with smarter people.” After meeting some of our Small Business Week winners, I know I have become a bit smarter because these men and women are some of the most imaginative, creative, innovative and business smart people I’ve ever met. People like Teresa Porter, chief executive officer of ISYS Technologies and this year’s Colorado Small Business Person of the Year, and the eight other statewide winners all have their own stories to tell, their own lessons to teach and their own challenges they overcame. 

Owning and running a small business is hard. With more than 560,000 small firms in Colorado employing a total of more than
1 million people, small businesses constitute the heart and soul of our state economy. That’s at least 560,000 Coloradans who must make payroll each week, collect and pay taxes regularly and maintain a sense of personal responsibility to their employees and their families for their well-being.

Small business owners often are required to wear many different hats. They’re the accountants, delivery people, IT administrators and  the sales force, not to mention head cheerleaders. Add to these duties the responsibilities of being parents, siblings, friends, caretakers, coaches and volunteers. Yes, it’s very difficult to own and operate a successful small business. That’s why these awards are so important and notable — and memorable. 

Colorado is one of the best states in the nation to start and grow a small business. Each of our Small Business Week winners exemplifies the importance of entrepreneurship in this state.  Small businesses remain the backbone of our economy. They maintain our local tax base, hire locally and support our churches, libraries Little League teams and schools.

It was Thomas Watson Sr., the former CEO of IBM, that said “To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business and your business in your heart.” That statement rings true today. To start a small business you must have passion, vision and inspiration to make a successful go of it. I’m so proud of each of our winners and for the passion they show each and every day.

Once again, congratulations to our Colorado Small Business Week winners, and thank you for helping us celebrate their tremendous success.