Ace Hardware's John Venhuizen addresses small business as a “local force for good” in society
In celebration of Small Business Week, Ace Hardware President and CEO, John Venhuizen, shares his thoughts on the role small business plays in global economies.
"Business gets a bad rap. And for business owners, it’s even worse. Business in general has a bad brand. Most people think business is run by the rich, for the rich and usually at the expense of the most vulnerable in society. And sure, there are some bad actors out there. But don’t let the highly publicized minority cloud the fact that capitalism, in general, and small business owners, in particular, are arguably one of the greatest forces of good in the world.
According to the Small Business Administration, 28 million small businesses in America account for 54% of all U.S. sales, provide 55% of all jobs and since the 1970’s generated 66% of all net new jobs. These small business owners are the ones doing most of the heavy lifting in the global economy. It’s these very entrepreneurs who create most of the jobs, deliver most of the wages, pay a lion’s share of the taxes and more often than not, use their success as a springboard to positively affect the communities they serve. What on earth would we do without them?
In 2016 alone, family-owned businesses within the Ace Hardware co-op generated 4,000 new jobs, more than $3 billion in wages and over $750 million in operating income. It is these small business owners who in turn, reinvest their business income into the community – by supporting local sports teams, donating goods and services to organizations in need, and volunteering their time and talent.
The degree to which capitalism and small business have pulled people around the world out of poverty is nearly incalculable. As the U.S. Navy once dubbed itself 'a global force for good,' (and you’ll never catch me arguing against that fair point), I’d also argue that in large measure, small business entrepreneurs like our Ace Hardware owners are a 'local force for good.'
Small business entrepreneurs are the heartbeat of America and the fuel for global economies. I find them inspiring and with a humble heart, I proudly tip my hat to them. In honor of National Small Business Week, we honor and recognize the passion, the guts, the determination and the significant impact these small entrepreneurs continue to have on their families, their employees, their communities and society."
- John Venhuizen, President and CEO, Ace Hardware Corporation
For more than 90 years, Ace Hardware has been known as the place with the helpful hardware folks in thousands of neighborhoods across America, providing customers with a more personal kind of helpful. With more than 5,000 hardware stores locally owned and operated across the globe, Ace is the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the world. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., Ace and its subsidiaries operate an expansive network of distribution centers in the U.S. and also have distribution capabilities in Ningbo, China; Colon, Panama; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Its retailers' stores are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and approximately 55 countries. For more information on Ace, visit acehardware.com or the company newsroom at newsroom.acehardware.com.