July 2024 Guest Editor: Rick McCartney, InMedia Company

Big on Small Business

from Rick McCartney

Arizona always ranks high as a state strong for startups and small to mid-size businesses. While credit for the success so many startups and SMBs achieve must of course be given to the can-do western spirit of the individuals, credit must also be shared with the major companies that make it part of their business model to support SMBs.

So many big companies in the Valley know what it means to support small business, whether through programs to sharpen business owners’ and managers’ skills, educating them on best practices or offering services that can advance them and even empower them to be instantly more successful. Since COVID, big/small business collaborations have been seen as opportunity for all. Small business is empowered while big businesses see opportunity in everything from partnership to even gaining a client base. Regardless, this dynamic is good for our overall business community and good for Arizona’s economic growth.

As a business owner myself, entrenched in building my business, and given that empowering businesses of all sizes is our mission at In Business Magazine, I was adamant that we take a look at big business working with small business and showcase some strong examples that have made an impact and become solid examples of this to grow business. We are fortunate to have chosen several who are making a difference.

In this month’s cover story, In Business Magazine explores some of those programs targeted to benefit smaller businesses. Big businesses in our community describe how they work with SMBs and put their efforts into greater context by sharing the consideration that motivates them.

A common concern for businesses of all sizes is customer relations — whether it’s a B2B or B2C relationship. Kate Zabriskie addresses how they can deal with challenging customers (sometimes colloquially referred to as “Karens,” she explains) in feature article “Conquering the Karen Conundrum.”

Karla Jo Helms offers an insightful and helpful article in “Negative News Packs a Punch,” effectively disproving the adage “all publicity is good publicity” as she addresses the issue of misinformation in our digital age.

This edition of In Business Magazine closes with the Roundtable feature “Businesses: Combat Human Trafficking while Protecting User Privacy” by Noel Thomas. Pointing out that “Many businesses operate under the false assumption that their industry is immune to human trafficking risks,” Thomas addresses this societal issue with a discussion on how businesses may make a difference.

Other topics range from fraud in financial transactions to preparing employees to be comfortable with AI in the workplace to new businesses serving specific niches as varied as healthcare and construction.

And as a special section, this edition also includes the “50 Top Small Business Advocates & Leaders Guide,” In Business Magazine’s annual resource guide for top small business services, with an insightful introduction by Robert Blaney, district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Arizona District.

I want to thank our great team who are so dedicated to bringing our readers an impactful issue each month. It is not often I get to lead the issue as Guest Editor, so I wanted to single out both RaeAnne Marsh and Ben Little for their great work in producing In Business Magazine.

I hope you’ll find it a useful and enjoyable read.


Rick McCartney
Publisher, In Business Magazine
President & CEO, InMedia Company

Rick McCartney is president and CEO of InMedia Company, a media technology company, and is responsible for producing many local, regional and national brands and media products. He is the publisher of In Business Magazine, which has been publishing in the Greater Phoenix area since 2011. In 2024, In Business Magazine will be expanding into both additional cities, and with the production of the “In Business Weekly TV Show”.

McCartney is a member of several nonprofit and for-profit boards and is involved with local and national organizations — all focused on economic development, children’s education, poverty and equity issues.

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