From mom and pop grocery stores, to independent
books stores, to tech start-ups, small businesses represent some of country’s core values. Welcome to National Small Business Week. This is the fiftieth anniversary And it has been an incredible opportunity
to celebrate All the innovators and all the entrepreneurs, like
all of you. During the course of the week, we have had
a series of truly remarkable events across the country. We took the whole show on the road. We started
in Seattle, we were in Texas, in St. Louis, in Pittsburgh and then here yesterday
evening. The SBA has done something so innovative this
year as these Google Hangouts, as we try to spread Small Business Week all around the
country. What we did is bring tips and tools and matchmaking
and workshops and value to small business. We don’t choose to be small business entrepreneurs.
Something happens that we commit to. It clicks in all of us. And we decide, I am going to
do that. It came from here. Perseverance is a critical ingredient, people
are a critical ingredient, passion is a critical ingredient. So it’s those three P’s: People,
passion and perseverance. It is always going to be up to you. It’s
never going to be delivered on a silver platter. But, the best part of Seattle, is that we
are the top city in multiple industries. The first entrepreneur I ever saw was my father
providing for his family. He was a small business guy. And then I was in St. Louis and one of the
folks there said, you know the SBA is the best kept secret in the federal government. And, I said,
wait a minute. This has got to stop now. It may be a best kept secret in some places,
but the SBA is not a best kept secret in Joplin, Missouri. I want to play big ball and not small ball.
I want to make a difference. I want to get something going. It’s a combination of public
sector and private sector. Rather than fight and clash, we have to collaborate, we have
to cooperate with each other. I don’t like getting complaints about myself
or Angie’s List. No one likes to get complaints, but in many ways it’s part of being in business
because you are not going to please everyone all the time. We are all human.
I try to talk to them about the opportunity this creates. A compliant now and there is not going to hurt your business. In fact, it might actually give you an opportunity to really
shine, to really show what you are going to do when things don’t go well. It’s just so hard to start anything. You
have people telling you no constantly. And, the SBA represents a simple interface into
government which enables you to navigate more and to really go through some of those hurdles
and to overcome barriers. If you do not have a mentor or advisor that
you see on a regular basis, you need to see one of our SBA folks before you leave here
tonight. The best tool I found is a very simple one which is asking the question why. It’s the easiest question to ask. It’s the hardest question
to answer. The secret is out.