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Welcome to the special edition of U.S. Chamber Quarterly, produced in conjunction with the 2015 America’s Small Business Summit. These are interesting and challenging times for all businesses, and new research by analysts at Gallup uncovers some troubling trends about entrepreneurship in America. For the first time in 35 years, more American businesses are being shuttered than started. The United States has slipped to 12th place among developed nations for business creation.
It’s tempting to be discouraged by such grim statistics. But at the U.S. Chamber we know that across the country small businesses of every kind—from scrappy startups to multigenerational Main Street fixtures—are overcoming obstacles and sometimes long odds to survive and thrive in a challenging environment. They are pushing back against headwinds like higher taxes, stricter regulations, and greater uncertainty, and they are emerging stronger than ever—putting people to work and making positive contributions to their economies and communities.
The DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Awards program, sponsored by Sam’s Club, recognizes those businesses and celebrates their accomplishments. The Blue Ribbon Award winners and the regional finalists spotlighted over the next week are proof that the American Dream is indeed alive and well. They also provide an example and an inspiration that others may need to turn a struggling business around or to take a leap and start a new one.With these successful small businesses as partners, the Chamber is working to reverse the trend in small business creation, fight back against the policies that make it harder to start and sustain a company, and help Americans put their dreams and ideas to work in our economy.
Eastern Regional Finalist: Charter School Business Management
Great Lakes Regional Finalist: Capannari Ice Cream
Midwest Regional Finalist: Custom Alarm
Northwest Regional Finalist: Payette Brewing Company
Southeastern Regional Finalist: Triangle Rock Club
Southwest & South Central Regional Finalist: Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
Western Regional Finalist: Noble Studios