NFIB's Danner: Small Business Is the Heart of the American Story

Date: September 02, 2015

"There's not a group of Americans who work harder than small business owners," says NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner in his 2015 Labor Day message.

On behalf of our members—350,000 American men and women who run their own small businesses—NFIB would like to wish everyone a very happy Labor Day.

It is true for our members—and for local businesses everywhere—that their employees are their most important assets. Every owner I’ve known over the years credits their success largely to the workers whose dedication and pride made it possible.

It is also true that there’s not a group of Americans who work harder than the small business owners themselves. They get there earlier and leave later than anyone else. They toil and sweat beside their employees on the same job site, under the same tough conditions, behind the same counter or in the same office. When times are lean, theirs is the first paycheck to be cut. In fact, many times they don’t paid themselves to ensure that their employees have paychecks to cash.

That’s a side of the story that you don’t often hear in the news these days. This weekend especially, pay close attention to exactly what the politicians and activists are saying. Many will suggest that the American economy is a winner-take-all contest between workers and their bosses. They’ll use the occasion to push for new laws and regulations that they claim workers deserve as a matter of fairness.

And they’ll do so without wondering for a moment why, for the last hundred years, the world’s poorest workers, whose own countries already have similar laws and similar regulations, have wanted desperately to come here and be part of our American economy.

We know the answer. There aren’t many places in the world like this—where someone can arrive with only his labor to offer and someday become his own boss. That’s the American story, and at the heart of it is small business. It’s the girl who waited tables in the restaurant she now owns. It’s the guy who runs the garage where he once pumped gas for his dad. It’s the millions of American men and women whose labor built their businesses, and whose businesses built the greatest economy on Earth.

So this weekend, by all means let’s honor America’s workers. And let’s celebrate as well the millions of small business owners whose labor ensures jobs, spreads prosperity and makes this the land of opportunity.

On behalf of the National Federation of Independent Business—our members and our employees—I’d like to wish you and your families a very happy Labor Day.

Dan Danner, NFIB President and CEO

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Dan Danner, NFIB President and CEO

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