On my show Bar Rescue you know I’m all about dishing out tough love, which is usually directed at bar owners. These are small business owners who are intent on living their own unique versions of the American dream.
But today, my focus has shifted. This time, I’m giving a little tough love to the country that I so dearly love.
Because, let’s face it, folks, the American dream is suffering. I dare say the American dream is dying, and it will be completely dead very soon if we don’t do something about it.
For thirty years, I’ve stared in the face of failure. I’ve looked in bar owners’ eyes and seen the misery. I’ve felt the pain. And when I rescue these bars, I get to get to see the joy and elation in these people’s eyes. The relief on their faces that, finally, they’ll get to live their versions of the dream that they’ve come to believe in.
But despite my success in turning their bars around, and their success in changing their ways of thinking to make that turnaround a possibility, their small businesses – and small businesses everywhere – are still failing.
In a town I visited recently, Main Street has gone dark. Small businesses everywhere are shuttering their doors. Fortunes and savings are being lost, and dreams are being destroyed.
Why is this happening? Corporations and corporate money for one. Another is legislation that is passed in the dead of night, such as mandated health care. We hear from our elected officials, “You’ll see what’s in it when it passes.”
What effect does this have?
It causes entrepreneurs who would have otherwise opened their businesses to HESITATE, to freeze up. They might say, “I’ll wait until next year to see what happens with Obamacare before I consider opening my business,” and the result is fewer small businesses, the very fuel of economic recovery.
There’s already a fear of the unknown that happens with starting any business, but right now that fear is being compounded.
Corporate money yields to corporate decisions. Regulations are being implemented by law and executive order that exhibit a complete disregard for small business. This needs to stop if we are going to cultivate and revive the American dream as we know it.
Consider this: There are 6 million small businesses in America. In 2006, 60% of those were family-owned. In 2012, only 42% were family-owned, a decrease of over a million family-owned businesses.
What happened? The death of the American dream happened, and our political and economic environment is what caused that death to occur, and it’s still occurring even now.
How can we light up Main Street again? With our votes and by igniting more voters.
Out of all the candidates currently running for President, not one of them has been talking about small businesses. Yet small businesses are the army of economic growth. And that army is led by our families, our neighbors, our peers, and – for too many people – that American dream is gone.
Is that acceptable to us? HELL NO! And that means it’s finally time to change it.
I have some ideas. How about a moratorium on small business taxes? How about we remove regulations to open the doors of opportunity? Instead of waiting years to open a business – as many would-be small business owners are doing now – they’ll be emboldened to make their dreams come true. We’d have small businesses opening within months.
So I urge you to scream like I did at the Americans for Prosperity Conference a few weeks ago in Columbus, Ohio. I urge you to call on your currently elected officials and to make your voices heard when it comes time to vote.
It’s time for us to fight for small businesses everywhere. It’s time to take a stand and defend the American dream with all we’ve got. And it’s time to do it RIGHT NOW before it’s too late!