06/19/09 — The engine: Small businesses keep economic wheels turning

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The engine: Small businesses keep economic wheels turning

There has not been a lot of building going on in Wayne County over the past few months.

And that is not really a surprise. Many people are waiting to see what happens with the economy before investing their time and money in a new venture.

This is not exactly the best time to be a small

businessperson in the United States.

The most recent round of new construction numbers should remind those who care about this community that protecting it also requires fighting for the rights of those who choose to invest their hard-earned money in a venture, without a net and without a bailout waiting in the wings.

If North Carolina is going to grow and prosper, it must become a place of commerce and industry, where money is not just thrown at large corporations to get them to locate here, but a reasonable tax incentive plan is created that encourages growth of all kinds and rewards those whose longevity has helped this state continue to prosper.

And that is where the public comes in.

Nothing is done at the General Assembly until someone, somewhere squawks enough to catch the attention of those who serve there. So, if you want something for your state, you have to speak up, loudly.

Small business is the engine that drives economies. It is the category of business that keeps towns strong and employment numbers steady.

As North Carolina continues to look at ways to attract new investment, its leaders should also consider how to make it easier for an entrepreneur with a good idea to open a mom and pop shop in his hometown.

This should not be a bailout -- there certainly are plenty of those. And it should not be a handout geared only to minority-owned businesses. It should be awarded to those with good ideas and the determination and industry necessary to work to turn those dreams into a viable business concern.

If the idea doesn't work or the business simply fails from inattention, there is no golden parachute or last-minute bailout. The doors will close.

There are plenty of examples in this state of men and women who have started businesses with nothing but a few dollars and a dream. They have worked to build those concerns into profitable and thriving businesses that are providing thousands of jobs in this state. No one subsidized the effort and the going was not always easy, but through hard work and good sense, these business owners are now reaping the rewards.

Keeping that spirit thriving is critical to the future of North Carolina.

And it cannot be replaced by handouts and bailouts -- or billions of dollars tossed around to attract large corporations either.

Make North Carolina business-friendly and they will come -- and this state will benefit.

Published in Editorials on June 19, 2009 10:56 AM