Small Business Week not predictor of future success

By Kelsey Gibbs |

Published 05/13 2014 03:59PM

Updated 05/13 2014 05:33PM

ILLINOIS -- It's Small Business Week and some owners say the state could be doing more to help them. Small businesses generate two-thirds of all new jobs in the U.S. They're responsible for more than half of our nation's total economic output. But, as WCIA-3's Kelsey Gibbs explains, many owners are uncertain about their futures.

People around the world are celebrating Small Business Week. Some in Central Illinois say they enjoy owning a business.

"Having fun at work and doing something that you want to do."

Leonard Jones owns Elf Shelf. He says the state's track record of financial spending and taxes has him concerned about the future.

"The only thing I worry about here is customers. They've taken most of the state workers out of downtown and they still are. They keep doing it."

Jones says downtown is looking more like a ghost town.

"Look at all the empty buildings. You know, it's just, we've got a kids' museum coming across the street, but that doesn't come for another couple of years."

Kim Clark Maisch works with small business owners. She worries a push to increase minimum wage would cause even more problems.

"We have some of the highest workers' compensation costs in the country; some of the highest unemployment insurance."

Business owner Paula Weatherford agrees government can sometimes do more harm than good.

"Unfortunately, you know, like raising the minimum wage is one of the things that I think will affect small business, just because it's so hard."

Maisch says politics also leads to a lot of frustration.

"Political upheaval going on in Washington and, of course, here in Illinois. A lot of small business owners continue to operate and do more with less."

Business owners are also getting help at the federal level. The Obama Administration is launching a new initiative aimed at helping small- and medium-sized businesses sell their products in new markets overseas.

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