The Unique Meaning of Independence Day for Colorado's Small Businesses

Entrepreneurship is as American as baseball, hot dogs and apple pie

The United States is a nation founded by entrepreneurs who were, by definition, risk takers.

In fact, many of America’s founding fathers were small business owners who provided needed goods and services in the growing colonies. Alexander Hamilton, who founded the Bank of New York by the age of 29, was even called “America’s first capitalist.” Benjamin Franklin was an inventor, a printer and a newspaperman. George Washington was a farmer, a landowner and owned a distillery.  Most of us remember that Thomas Jefferson was a farmer, a vintner and an architect.

America’s Independence Day is not only a celebration of our forebears throwing off the yoke of tyranny; it is a day to recognize all that makes our country unique in the world. We are all proud that the Centennial State was formed 100 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and today continues to lead the nation in small business expansion and growth with more than 630,000 firms employing over 1.1 million people.  Colorado has become a hub for technology and innovation that has driven a thriving economy statewide.

It takes courage, resolution and determination to start and run a new business – a lot like our founders showed when they called for the creation of a new nation. When monarchical taxation and oversight became too oppressive to bear, our nation’s founders were determined to create a free nation where men and women could be free to live up to their potential – this became “The American Dream.”

As we celebrate Independence Day, let’s not forget that today’s entrepreneurs face many of the same barriers that our founding fathers did more than 243 years ago.

Obstacles such as a lack of access to capital, business training, and mentorship can quickly derail an entrepreneur’s dreams. America’s Founding Fathers took the incredibly risky task of signing the Declaration of Independence under threat of execution by the King, and it took almost a decade for that dream to become reality.

Today, starting a small business does not carry that same level of risk, but new owners realize that they do put their family’s financial future on the line when they open their business’s doors the first day. The U.S. Small Business Administration can help mitigate some of that risk by providing free or cost-effective business training and counseling at one of our many resource partners such as your local Small Business Development Centers, Women's Business Centers, SCORE Business Mentors and your local SBA district office.  The Small Business Association offers a business tool kit that can determine the best path to building a business plan.

Starting and growing a business can mean personal and financial independence for you and your family. Entrepreneurship is as American as baseball, hot dogs and apple pie.  Colorado’s local, small businesses are community heroes.  Small businesses create jobs, sustain the local tax base, and support important organizations and non-profits.  Happy birthday America, and please take the time to say thank you to your local entrepreneurs for all they do for you and your local community.

Dan Nordberg serves as the SBA’s Region VIII Administrator and is based in Denver. He oversees the agency’s programs and services in Colorado, Montana, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Follow the SBA on Twitter

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