Editor’s Column: Speak up for small business

Being in business for yourself is eye-opening. It’s not just getting up and going to work every day without any incentives (e.g. no benefits, no sick

Niki Turner
days, no paid vacations). It’s scrabbling through your check register to pay for tickets to an event or donate to the local school group. It’s wondering how to find the money to establish a local scholarship for students pursuing journalism careers.
Someone asked if we have a “special advertising rate” for government entities. Since we just had the blessed opportunity to pay our 2016 taxes, I was sorely tempted to say “Yeah, government gets charged double.”
We do give a discounted rate to 501c3 entities, and I’ve a terrible habit of giving away free color at $25 a pop, but I can’t give all our advertising inches away to every worthy project, cause or event any more than restaurants can feed everyone who comes in a free meal.
It’s become obvious that the system is not in any way set up for the benefit of small business.
As an employee I thought “business rates” were something to look forward to. As it turns out, that just means you pay more for the same service. These enormous corporations have amazing tax loopholes and government subsidies available to them. Small business? Not so much.
Giant corporations make huge campaign contributions and send lobbyists to woo our elected officials to vote for legislation that benefits them, and only them. In large part, that’s how we’ve gotten in the mess we’re currently in, and until we get those corporate lackeys out of office, not much is going to change, in my opinion.
What can we do? I hate to sound like an broken record, but “buy local” and “shop small business” rings true. So does asking our elected officials about their plans to help small businesses succeed. We have a collective voice, but we need to use it.