Tag Archive for 'holiday'

An official day for small business owners

Labor Day began as an idea in the mind of a 19th century labor leader — some say Matthew Maguire, others say Peter McGuire — who cared greatly for a very important segment of the marketplace, its workers.

Regardless of paternity, such a day was first celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, when members of the CLU took an unpaid day off to demonstrate solidarity and, of course, have picnics. And ever since 1984, when President Grover Cleveland’s signature designated the first Monday in September as Labor Day, it’s been an official federal holiday.

In 1898, Samuel Gompers, then head of the American Federation of Labor, called Labor Day, “the day for which the toilers in past centuries looked forward, when their rights and their wrongs would be discussed … that the workers of our day may not only lay down their tools of labor for a holiday, but upon which they may touch shoulders in marching phalanx and feel the stronger for it.”

Alas, entrepreneurs aren’t organized like our union brethren — probably because we’re too busy making payroll. There is no single Small Business Day officially decreed by the U.S. Government. No Entrepreneur’s Day set aside to honor the few who do so much for so many; a day to picnic and party down in honor of the real heroes of the marketplace, small business owners.

There actually is a small business week when the U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes the “creme de la creme” of entrepreneurs in America. But it’s not an official “Day” and it’s not always the same week each year.

Small businesses represent over 98% of all U.S. businesses and produce over half of the U.S. $17 trillion GDP.  Plus, we sign the FRONT of the paychecks of over half (70 million) of all U.S. workers.

Let’s see: Big deal on Labor Day — no Small Business Day. What’s wrong with this picture?

So, what’s the answer? Let’s celebrate Small Business Day in a way no other national holiday has been established: on a Sunday — actually, the second Sunday in August.

Sunday is preferred because that would create the least payroll expense. August is the month-of-choice because that’s when politicians are home on recess. This way they can practice casting their pearls before we small business owners in preparation for eating barbeque and sucking up to unions on Labor Day.

To paraphrase Samuel Gompers, small business owners deserve a day for which these signers-of-the-front-of-paychecks can look forward to when their rights and wrongs would be discussed; that the small employers of our day may not only lay down their challenges for a holiday, but during which they may touch shoulders in marching phalanx and feel the stronger for it.

Write this on a rock….Entrepreneurs unite!  It’s time we had a day to honor small business owners.

Jim Blasingame is author of the award-winning book, The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance.

A Holiday Message from Jim

Several years ago, we added up all of the money we paid for fruit, nuts and candy holiday gift packages we sent to our customers - it was a lot. We decided that the world will be better served if, instead of sending holiday gifts, we made donations to those who have less in life and greater needs in honor of our customers.

After a while, we extended this practice to include at least some of the money we spent on adults during the holidays.

Last week, in our poll question, we asked you how you felt about this, with this question: “Would you go along with taking all the money spent on adult Christmas gifts, and some of what’s spent on the children, and donate it to a worthy charity?” It was very interesting that over 70% of our respondents thought this was a “great idea, while the rest disagreed.

With all of this in mind, we’re pleased to tell you that we have chosen these three outstanding organizations to receive our contributions. This is the first year for the third organization, but we’ve contributed to the first two for several years.

Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation
www.OrlandoHealth.com
World-class medical care for women and children from all over the globe, including trauma, heart and cancer treatments and, if necessary, without cost. Mr. Palmer has insisted that no one is ever turned away because they can’t afford treatment.

Homes for Our Troops
www.HomesForOurTroops.org
Builds and remodels specially adapted homes for our most severely wounded veterans.

Special Operations Warrior Foundation
www.SpecialOps.org
Provides a full college education to the surviving children of special ops personnel who lost their lives while serving in the U.S. military, and immediate financial assistance and support to ensure severely wounded special ops personnel are able to have their loved ones at their bedside during recovery.

If you’re looking for a worthy organization to contribute to at year-end, consider one or all of these three. You can donate right on their websites with a credit card, or send a check.

Thanks for all you do for so many all year long. From me and my team, we wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season.

Check out more great SBA content HERE!

In defense of us scrooges

Some say I’m a scrooge – they might be right. But here are three exhibits in my defense:

1. The early part of my career was spent in retail. Retail is tough on the holiday spirit. There’s a syndrome for everything else; why not one for retail survivors? Let’s call it PTHSS: Post-Traumatic Holiday Shock Syndrome.

2. Since I don’t wait until the holidays to give someone a gift, I just don’t get all worked up about holiday giving.

Not that the ladies mind getting stuff all year (let’s not lose our heads!) ­ it’s just that they want me to be giddy about giving at Christmas-time. Giddy? Bah! Humbug!

3. As an avowed and devout contrarian, it would be antithetical for me to feel obligated to do what everyone else is doing. And if there is one thing that has become part and parcel of the holiday season, it is obligation. For example:

a) If someone gives my significant other and me a last-minute gift before Christmas, “Other” feels obligated to reciprocate. I don’t. I’ll do something nice for them in March.

b) After the Christmas cards have been sent, if an incoming card is received from someone not on your list, do you rush to get a card out to them? Not me. Maybe next year.

In The World According To Blasingame, giving should be voluntary, not obligatory. In fact, to a scrooge, not reciprocating is actually endearing.

It’s not that I don’t like the holidays. As a Christian, this is an important time in my faith life. As a capitalist, the importance of holiday spending to our economy is not lost on me. But I just don’t care for what we self-absorbed humans hath wrought on the holiday season; and if that makes me a scrooge, guilty as charged.

On behalf of my misunderstood brethren (this isn’t politically incorrect ­ apparently, there are no female scrooges), let me clear up a few things.

1. Scrooges are lovable, huggable and, yes, even cute.

2. It’s a myth that all scrooges are skinflints. Some are actually quite generous, but their generosity isn’t obsessive and doesn’t come with giggles.

3. Scrooges can be quite caring and compassionate without saying, “Bless their hearts,” over and over. As proof ­ and to influence my acquittal ­ I offer two challenges into evidence; one for me and one for us:

I challenge myself to be more receptive to, and tolerant of, the silly parts of the holiday season and those who perpetuate the silliness. But, please, be patient; the mill of a scrooge grinds slowly.

I challenge us to be more generous, loving, thankful and spiritual all year long, not just during the holidays.

Imagine what would happen if we all practiced peace on earth, goodwill toward everyone, every day. It might sound something like this: “Let’s help those people right now, in the middle of July!”

Peace to you and yours. Shalom. Salaam. Que la paz este con ustedes.




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