Economic development is a phrase we hear a lot. Everything we do here at the Arizona Small Business Association has an impact on economic development for Arizona, directly or indirectly. Economic development is about creating new business opportunities and thus creating jobs. It shapes what we do on a daily basis.
It is no secret that Arizona has had a tough road to recovery. The recession took a huge financial toll that created a more cautious type of investor and business owner. While many states are exceeding Arizona in the recovery, the sustained, gradual climb back to economic relevance we once enjoyed is creating a much more stable economy from which to build.
That is why it is so important for the Arizona Small Business Association to be at the forefront in economic development initiatives that will help create new opportunities for all businesses in Arizona. Our having a seat at the economic development table means the needs of the business community will always take precedence.
Most recently, ASBA has taken a lead role in exporting. If you haven’t done it yet, it is time to look at customers outside your neighborhood, your city and even outside the country. Exporting goods or services has been overlooked by most businesses. ASBA is part of an initiative to create pathways to help businesses understand the opportunities by exporting their product or service. In 2013, $1.4 trillion of goods and services were exported by U.S. metropolitan areas1. The exportation of these goods and services directly and indirectly supported an estimated 11.3 million U.S. jobs2. Developing a strong export economy can and will lead to more job opportunities and increased stability to withstand the various domestic economic cycles. By eliminating some of the barriers, we will be able to introduce many businesses to new markets and vastly increase their customer base.
The multitude of small businesses that are part of ASBA recognize there is strength in numbers. Our advocacy efforts on reducing taxation and regulation in Arizona and at the federal level, creating pathways to sell products and services abroad and creating alternative ways to raise much needed capital, are the kinds of efforts that bring prosperity to businesses in Arizona. This is exactly what the Arizona Small Business Association should be doing for businesses because, at the end of the day, everything we do is all about jobs.
1 U.S. International Trade Administration (2013) U.S. Metropolitan Area Exports
2 U.S. International Trade Administration (2013) Jobs Supported by State Exports
Rick Murray is the Chief Executive Officer at ASBA