Where are the small businesses in all these economic recovery summits?

Mark_Zuckerberg 2008 SXSW

Apparently today, President Barack Obama will be meeting with Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook, Eric Schmidt from Google and Steve Jobs from Apple to discuss how the business community and government can work closer together.

Excuse me?

Apple, Google and Facebook are the business community? Where are all the small businesses that are supposed to be the backbone of this economic recovery? What could a 26-year old kid who built an empire of cards on a parasitic business model, a do-no-evil-but-dominate-the-world-anyway CEO who gutted newspapers and is about to topple the smart phone industry and a megalomaniacal evil genius possibly know about surviving and thriving in this economic disaster? That is like asking Eric Cartman to explain Phase II of the Underpants business or checking out eHow.com on becoming a multi-millionaire. (Hint: Step One; Start with a million dollars)

All Jobs cares about my business is he has sold me a Mac II, Mac IIvx, (2) Quadra 900s, (2) G3 towers, (3) iMacs in bondi blue, tangerine and grape, a Mac Mini and the latest iMac for the desktop, a Powerbook 170 and 165c, Powerbook G3 (Pismo and Lombard) (4) Powerbook 15″, (2) Powerbook 17″, (2) MacBookPro 13″ and a MacBookPro 17″, a MacAir 13″, (8) iPods, an iPad and (3) iPhones, a Newton, a MacPlus, 2 AppleTVs and 3 Imagewriters. All Zuck cares about my business is how many times I post to my blog, who reads it and how he can sell my data to anyone for the highest price. Eric Schmidt knows everything, down to the number of minutes all my employees take bathroom breaks, and I have no idea what he is doing with the data. I suspect not anything that will benefit my bottom line. But none of these guys really knows anything about building out a business in a down economy.

What President Obama really needs to do is assemble a group of middle-aged people who recently got fired and were scared sh*tless into starting their own companies just to avoid the bank taking their homes or their local church from casting them out for being shiftless, unemployed bums. Or a group of small manufacturers who had to mortgage their homes to make payroll when the banks called in their credit lines and lie awake nights wondering how to make the next payroll.

Get out of this bubble of big companies and ask us all out here how we are really surviving and thriving in this economic downturn. Ask us about the piles of forms we have to fill out every month just to stay in business. Ask us how the government can ease the strain of everyday worry on whether or not we are going to lose our health insurance before 2014 kicks in. Ask us not only about Federal regulations but State, County and Local ones as well (which, by the way, Mr. President, are much more onerous and closer to home than anything that comes out of Washington.)

Ask the small business owners who are making it through every day without giving up how they are doing it. I grant you, you will get a better picture of what doing business in America means much more accurately than meeting with the top “pop companies” of the moment.

Because for us, if we stumble, we’re not just losing a percentage point on our stock. When we stumble, we lose everything.

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7 Replies to “Where are the small businesses in all these economic recovery summits?”

  1. It’s incredibly frustrating, to say the least. These three guys have no clue what is really happening on the ground. They could all lose a billion dollars a day for the next week and still be billionaires!

    You said it well, if we don’t get our receivables in this week our cell phone gets shut off!

    I’m not jealous of these large companies. They all had to start somewhere and faced their challenges early on and are now uber (I know it’s not a word but I like it) successful.

    Their success doesn’t make them experts on the current state of small business, that’s for sure.

  2. Sad thing is they all started from families who could support them anyway, whether they failed or not. I want to hear from someone for whom failure was not an option. They really should have a summit from the small business guys who are scraping it together every day. I wonder if the White House valets would mind parking a few dozen cars from the late ’80s that pour out white smoke? It’s what we would all drive to Washington DC in. 🙂

  3. It’s not a question on how but why? They all know how: 1) run ad 2) hire person 3) pay person. But none of these guys wants to be the first one to stick his neck out. Human beings have become the parasites of the economic machine, populated by technology.

  4. Every day I deal with the trails and tribulations of small biz through the small biz entrepreneurs I mentor. So it is all very real to me as to actually how much “help” actually has trickled down to the many who are struggling to just stay afloat.

    What I am however observing is that there is more and more regulation every day, in the guise of protecting the business owner, but in fact making it harder and harder to do business and make any profit. However on the one hand, I shouldn’t complain as it is creating more and more jobs in the many regularity offices and organizations around the country!

  5. That it is. I get a kick out of these folks addressing the FEDERAL government regulation when the bulk of the idiotic regulation happens at the state, county and city level. And if you do business in different states, good luck trying to keep all that straight. And any of these hundreds of agencies can send a letter at any time and demand you do some stupid thing or other to comply with blah, blah or demand that you pay some amount because they couldn’t find the form you filed, for which you have a cancelled check. Nothing is standardized, nothing makes any sense and the person demanding you do whatever doesn’t know why you need to do it either.. just that you do.

    Some days, I feel like a duck in a shooting gallery. Aren’t “we the people” supposed to be in charge? When did we tell these folks it is ok to boss us around like we are 2-year olds? I don’t remember signing that piece of paper, but they probably lost it anyway…

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