I come from a long line of small business owners. My father and grandfather before me ran their own shops. Our family knows well the vital contribution the small business person makes to the economy.
I remember the time my father laid it all out for me. He spoke about the impact of his small insurance agency on many other businesses, as well as their families:
“I’m a sole proprietor, but even so, I support hundreds and hundreds of people.”
“When I get paid commissions. where does that money go? To my local bank.”
“When I spend my money, where does it go? To the local Deli. Dry cleaners. Hardware store.”
“And all these people use it to support their families.”
“I give a bunch of it to the government (too much!): State taxes. Federal taxes. Post Office.
“I employ people. Where do you think they put that money? The same places I do.”
”I support my family with that money. And they support their families with what I pay them.”
“One sale of life insurance goes that far.”
Today we have much more of a global economy. The businesses we patronize are not all local. Also, more and more employees and consultants work remotely.
But the principles remain the same: one producer supports multiple consumers, as well as multiple other producers. The chains of supply and demand are interdependent.
Given this basic understanding of the world economy, what would my father and grandfather say about state governors labeling certain business as “essential” and others “non-essential?”
They would call that hogwash. Not only does it ignore the reality of how the marketplace works. It cripples the ability of people to support their families.
Every income producer is essential - to his or her family.