In the May 8th, 2007, Recorder, Amy waxed very poetic about the Hidden-Tech organization that now members over 1100 small and micro businesses, mostly in the Valley, with some worldwide. As the person primarily responsible for the web presence, and having run small businesses for over 30 years, largely High Tech at that, I’d like to add some grounding as to what really drives business growth and hence community health. I have started to see the term ‘Sustainable development’ moved beyond it’s environmental roots and into the general area of economic growth. And the union of that form of community growth and small business is what really creates healthy communities. It’s what creates the vast number of jobs in the world and what creates the life style we enjoy that is envied in all the cities in the world.
There is a place for larger businesses and stores in the mix, but all too often what drives business development groups to seek larger answers is the promise of an ‘easy’ win — it looks good in the press and can win re-elections, however such choices rarely pan out and usually have far more hidden risks than are ever uncovered in time to fix. Just look at the Big Dig and Iraq for examples — the only ones who win are those who take the gains and run, leaving those who live there to clean up the results.
In short let’s continue to grow the community we love by re-enforcing our native grown opportunities and inviting outside groups in only when they fit our needs and scale their offerings to our situation – and do that with great care and forethought. One advantage that small business have and that matches how the natural environment works, is that small steps can easily be corrected when they go wrong — large, long term commitments seem safe when made but are never adjustable as the real issues become clear.
Since I have far more to say then will fit here, you can see the longer version and related links at my personal blog at: rizbang.com