News23ABC In-Depth


Small business growth locally drives economic growth nationally

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, small business owners are remaining optimistic despite setbacks related to pandemic recovery and rising inflation.
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Posted at 6:58 PM, May 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-05 21:58:32-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Entrepreneurship is booming in the United States, especially in the wake of the pandemic. Tom Sullivan, Vice President for Small Business Policy with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had an in-depth discussion with 23ABC News on how small business growth drives the U.S. economy and the impacts of inflation on that growth.

"I mean, not only coming out of it, but we have data from a quarterly survey that we do with our partners MetLife that shows small business owners themselves are feeling pretty good," said Sullivan. "Now, that optimism and that great news turns a little negative when you start asking small business owners, 'How are things looking at the national economy,' and that's when they turn south, and it largely has to do with high inflation."

According to Sullivan, inflation has topped the list of concerns for small business owners for the last five quarters, but that the entrepreneurs are powering through.

"There's this suit of armor they have on; 'I can get through the recession. I can get through covid. I can get through high inflation,'" said Sullivan.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is one of the biggest nonprofit groups advocating for both big and small businesses across the nation. Right now, the chamber is looking to award one small business as America's Top Small Business of 2023. The chamber is taking applications online through Friday, July 7, and the winner will receive $25,000 in cash. Apply online at the USCoC website.

To support small businesses locally, the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce is reviving its Shop Local, Shop Now campaign just in time for Mother's Day. The chamber hopes to promote gifts for moms that promote health and wellness while also supporting local businesses.

Shoppers can find participating stores at the GBCoC's Shop Local, Shop Now website.