This morning, along with several other Charlotte small business leaders, I attended a breakfast meeting with Anthony Foxx, who is announcing his candidacy for mayor this evening. At the meeting, Foxx shared his commitment to the small business community and asked us to share our suggestions about what he should do if elected mayor to ensure that small businesses in Charlotte continue to thrive.
I seized the opportunity to ask Foxx to elaborate on how the age-old definition of "small business" needs to change to accommodate the realities of an economy that includes a new kind of small business — tiny, independent businesses, often family owned and run from a home — that are cropping up in Charlotte and in cities nationwide. I suggested that, as mayor, he may wish to prioritize resources to help these types of businesses thrive even though they are not viewed as a traditional part of the business economy in Charlotte and in most cities.
Foxx agreed that "small" has not historically really meant "small" when it comes to business. He also said, that if elected, he would carry a "small and independent business message" to the US Conference of Mayors as a part of an effort to ensure that Charlotte and cities like it understand the concerns and appreciate the contributions that independent business owners are making to local and state economies.
I was pleased with this part of his response and will be watching to see how he and other city leaders create new infrastructures and resources that Indies can use to network, support and grow. You can follow Foxx's candidacy on Twitter and at his website. I encourage you to take a look at what's happening where you live. (I also want to acknowledge search engine firm Rushmore Drive, the gracious host of this morning's event.)
Question: What are your local leaders doing to recognize and support your efforts as an independent business owner?