This past week was Small Business Week in Western New York.
- Monday: UB’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) annual meeting
- Tuesday: Small Business Innovative Research grant writing seminar specifically targeted to small businesses and start-ups
- Tuesday Night: Buffalo Niagara Partnership Endurance All-Stars event.
- Wednesday: CEL Class of 2009 graduation ceremony
- Thursday: UB Business Partners Day
Before you say “Small business, so what? Who gives a crap?” know that small businesses account for half of all employment in the U.S., and since the mid-90s have created 60-80% of net new jobs. A very recent NPR report cited that small businesses accounted for 100% of all new hiring in 2009 so far. Small business is Western New York’s future, for God knows that until New York State’s government is overthrown changes we are not going to be attracting any large companies to this area despite the best efforts of the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise and our local politicians.
Some big corporations were represented at most of these events, too: Moog, National Fuel, Greatbatch, M&T and others are sponsors of many of these programs, in part as a giveback to the community in which they operate. I am grateful to the big guys who probably get little in return, other than some friendly PR.
UB Business Partners day was an unequivocal success. Attendance was probably twice last year’s, and it will continue to grow. UB and the CEL both recognize that entrepreneurialism is the seed by which business will blossom in Western New York.