Ever since I was a young man working my parents' television repair shop, I knew I wanted to have my own business. As an entrepreneur, I know how hard it is to build a company. As mayor, I know the incredible value small businesses bring to a community.
Starting a business was one of the most challenging and rewarding times of my career. We started as just two guys in a car with cell phones, but after years of hard work, late nights and stresses we built a successful company.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are more than 30 million small businesses in our country, employing over 58 million people. That's nearly half of all employees in the nation's private sector.
To put it simply, the United States economy relies on their success.
Every year, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, our nation celebrates Small Business Saturday to support independently-owned stores and restaurants that contribute to job creation and boost local economies.
In 2017, an estimated 108 million consumers participated, spending roughly $12 billion. This year, I issued a proclamation to encourage Jacksonville citizens to recognize and support local and independently-owned stores and restaurants on November 24, and throughout the year.
Read the 2018 Small Business Saturday Proclamation
Jacksonville is home to a unique and vibrant small businesses community, with quaint shops, boutiques and restaurants in every area of town. Do your part to help keep our economy growing by shopping at one of these local establishments this Saturday and throughout the holiday season.