Published: March 29, 2022 | Updated: March 28, 2022

Small business is big business

Mike Patrick

Mike Patrick

Globally speaking, Uncle Sam is fat.

We mean that nicely.

Weighing in at some $500 billion a year, the U.S. government is the world's single biggest consumer of goods and services.

Business owners with an axe to grind with the feds — you know, the red-faced, clenched-fist, anti-ARPA folks — can shun Sam at their own loss. Everyone else can work a little harder to figure out how to grow their business with the feds as a legitimate client.

Helping North Idaho entrepreneurs, owners and managers bid for some of that half-trillion is just one of many functions of the Small Business Administration. Our Northwest region is now under the direction of a local who grew up working in his parents' Chinese restaurant: Mike Fong. New to the job, Mike has hit the road hard, spreading the gospel of cooperation to build stronger communities by bolstering business.

With Spokane SBA office leader Joel Nania, Fong visited Coeur d'Alene recently and unleashed loads of advice and business wisdom. Elli Goldman Hilbert's story in this issue details some of the tools SBA offers small businesses, the backbone of the U.S. economy in providing good local jobs, products and services.

Share it with someone you think might benefit, because if they do, all of us do.

Even Uncle Sam.

— Mike Patrick, BJNI editor