This month’s edition of Arlington Today
celebrates the community’s most popular shops, stores, merchants, service providers, eateries and more. It gives us an opportunity to be reminded of the impact of small business on our local economy. Some of the figures may come as a surprise to many.
Business and news publications across the country tell the story of how small businesses are the engines of job creation across America. There are more than 25 million small businesses in the United States that account for up to 75 percent of all our jobs.
Entrepreneurial endeavors contribute to the economic health in some obvious and not-so- obvious ways. Annalists describe the “ripple effect” of successful businesses. Not only are there jobs for the creators of proprietorships, partnerships and corporate entities, but also more people are hired as growth occurs, and that spurs indirect employment at other companies where business is done.
The website entrepreneur.com sums up the impact by concluding that creative business endeavors not only achieve their own success but also have major effects on company owners, employees, customers and suppliers. They also can share resources with nonprofit groups, charities or community service organizations to fulfill unmet needs throughout our society.
Estimates tell us if every small business grew
enough this year to hire just one additional person, a job would be created for each of the currently unemployed 7.5 million persons in the country. That would leave about 12 million companies looking for new hires.
Those kinds of statistics help explain why cities across America are so competitive in their economic development initiatives. I tell my University of Texas Arlington students that the reasons cities work so hard to attract corporate entities is because they (1) pay most of the bills and (2) provide all the jobs.
When it comes to Arlington’s economy, what almost immediately comes to mind are the big names such as General Motors, Six Flags Over Texas, The Texas Rangers, The Dallas Cowboys, UT Arlington, and the big retail centers like The Parks at Arlington mall and The Highlands.
Taking into consideration all the other small businesses inside those shopping complexes, strip centers, at intersections in neighborhoods and individual businesses along the city’s thoroughfares, we realize that our city, too, has all the characteristics of a strong economy thanks to the many merchants, professionals, and individuals who run them.
A quick look at some of the services
of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce for its small business members reveals all kinds of work going on in the community driving our economic health.
In the Member Marketplace, business people work together to develop good business relationships and further each other’s efforts to grow and prosper. Just a partial representation of business activities includes disciplines as varied as financial consultation services, support for compliance with government regulations, horse-riding lessons, legal services, identity theft protection and resolution, information technology training, photography and video services, and where to call for box lunches for employees and guests working through the noon hour.
An even easier way to realize just how widespread the business of local business is in our broader community is to take a closer look at this month’s issue of the magazine in your hands.
Our readers across the region have weighed in
on the annual selection of their favorite places to eat, shop, get better, take the kids, celebrate special events, play outdoors, relax, or cheer on the Rangers.
This year’s contest was the largest ever in the Arlington, Mansfield, Grand Prairie and Kennedale communities we serve. The number of votes that were cast and the variety of categories significantly expanded this popular feature. The results are in, and the “All Stars” have been featured throughout. Reading about them provides terrific insight into the importance and value to all of us of the role that big and small business play in our community.
Of course, there’s still another way to explore the local business scene – take a look at our advertisers. They are the ones that make Arlington Today possible. Without them, we couldn’t do what we do, and they all make for a great illustration of the essential economic structure of our great community.