By Herb Carpenter | Issue: October 2022
In the U.S., small business is big business. The Small Business Administration uses a variety of standards to define a “small” business – number of employees, total sales and more. By most standards 99.7% of all U.S. companies — 28 million in all — can be classified as small businesses and nearly 50 percent of employees work for those small businesses. A further statistic tells us that employer firms with fewer than 100 workers employee 32.4% of workers.
In this issue of Strictly Business, we focus on small, independent and mostly family-owned businesses (with the exception of our cover feature, Chazy Central Rural School). These restaurants, grocery store and service providers are the backbone of our community. Their stories are both professional and personal. Read on.
Chazy Central Rural School is the smallest school district in the county, but despite its size it has an amazing reputation for academic excellence and athletic prowess. The school, founded in 1915, is just one of several institutions created and supported to this day by visionaries William and Alice Miner.
Jackie Bentley, owner of Paws & Claws Mobile Veterinary Services, has cared for North Country animals and their humans for decades – first in traditional settings and now in an amazing traveling clinic that covers towns and cities in Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties.
Yando’s Big M market, located in Plattsburgh’s south end, is an excellent example of a small family business that can successfully compete with the big guys by featuring high-quality meats and exceptional customer service.
Stephen and Carla Hausrath came to Plattsburgh more than 20 years ago to open a private medical practice and enjoy life in the North Country. They attracted a strong following, but life dealt them a blow when first the pandemic hit and then Dr. Hausrath passed away. Now, Carla has reinvented the family practice as North Wood Primary Care and is carrying on with grit and determination.
Sawatdee Thai Restaurant and Quiche et Crepe, both owned and operated by husband/wife teams, offer the North Country a taste of their homelands and inspiring stories about making their way in a new country and surviving the pandemic.
And then there is our Insight article which features Anita Bodrogi, owner of INHEALTH medical practice in Plattsburgh. Dr. Bodrogi, board certified in Osteopathic Manual Medicine and Family Practice, is one more example of a small business holding its own in a profession dominated by large medical groups.
Colin Read finds parallels between originalist businesses and those of today and offers his take on the importance of small business to the U.S. economy.
Garry Douglas wraps up this issue with news of the North Country Chamber of Commerce’s efforts to bring our Canadian neighbors back to the benefit of our region. Small Business Saturday will be observed on November 26th this year. Mark your calendars and support small North Country businesses.
Herbert O. Carpenter, Publisher
And that will be good for business