An open love letter to small business owners.

Dear small business owner,

We know you’re busy, so we’ll make this quick:

You deserve a lot of love right now.

You’ve dedicated your life to your business, putting in the work, quietly making the world run. Society as we know it would fall apart without you. 

We wouldn’t have food.

We wouldn’t have places to live or stay.

Without you, we couldn’t find medical care, legal aid, or financial help. We wouldn’t have services of any kind—no consulting, no accounting, no website help. No home or car repair, no babysitting or petting, no cleaning or landscaping or cooking. No way to manage our physical and mental well-being.

Without you, the world wouldn’t have jobs. Every nine out of ten jobs are created by business owners like you. And you take care of your people and their families. Collectively, small businesses pay their employees $2.55 trillion every year.

It’s fair to say that businesses like yours power the American and global economy. But you do more than that. 

You are an epicenter of culture and connection. You shape neighborhoods and cities. You bring people together—all kinds of people—at farmers’ markets, in waiting rooms, on the street, over books and coffee. You give us art to look at, clothing to wear, things to see and do.

At the same time, you’re stepping up as a leader in your community. Perhaps you’re active in politics or a member of your city’s chamber of commerce. Or maybe you serve on the board of a local educational institution or nonprofit or faith-based organization. Or maybe you give back through donations, sponsorships, fundraisers, and volunteer work. 

Or maybe, like so many small business owners, you do it all—because you can’t help but get involved where there’s someone in need.

You’re like Mr. Rogers, Oprah, and Spider-Man rolled into one.

And just like them, your work is never over. You regularly work 50-, 60-, 100-hour weeks. You start early and stay late. You do your best and give it your all, day in and day out. 

The rest of us can take sick days and go on vacation. We don’t need to dedicate 110% every day. You don’t always have that luxury. You have to show up—because there’s usually no one else who can do your job or run your business for you.

You’re the person in charge of making sure customer or client demands are met, no matter how challenging or unpredictable. You need to live with extreme uncertainty and relentlessly pursue your goals in spite of it. After all, you’re the person your team looks to for direction and vision. You need to think fast, act fearlessly, and make tough decisions dozens of times per day. 

You’re a risk-taker and an innovator. Virtually every new technology, insight, and trend is birthed at businesses like yours.

We want you to know you’re appreciated—because it’s hard out there right now, and you probably don’t hear it enough. We see you working to give your families, your business, and your communities everything that you’ve got.

From all of us to you: thank you for everything you do!

Love,

Ruby

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