We all know that our small enterprise house owners are the lifeblood of the US economic system. There are roughly 30 million of us and we offer greater than half of the roles on this nation. Everybody appears to like us. Politicians courtroom us. Large manufacturers tip their hats to us. Every year we rejoice our small enterprise group with Small Enterprise Week, Small Enterprise Saturday, Nationwide Entrepreneurship Month and plenty of different days honoring unbiased staff and minority enterprise house owners.
Yay for us! However what? As a lot as I’m an advocate and a voice for my fellow small enterprise brethren, even I’ve to confess that not all small enterprise house owners are worthy of such reward. Some, in truth, are usually not worthy in any respect.
There are the restaurant house owners – like these in California, Michigan and Oregon to call just some – who blatantly and recklessly defied native Covid laws and put their prospects and staff vulnerable to dying from one thing aside from the And coli of their meals. Or the dentist in Wisconsin who broke his sufferers’ enamel so as to submit false insurance coverage claims (wow!).
And let’s not overlook the seemingly incalculable variety of small enterprise house owners – just like the operators of a tech firm and a baking enterprise in Massachusetts, the genius who ran an actual property agency in Pennsylvania, the serial fraudster from Delaware and the dual brothers who oversaw a number of companies in California – who all defrauded the federal authorities by submitting pretend claims for Covid reduction funds as a result of, hey, why ought to that cash go to individuals who truly wanted it, proper?
Or how concerning the producer in Georgia who was ordered to pay $250,000 after firing a disabled worker? Who does that? Or the regional water providers firm in Minnesota that was instructed to cough up $45,000 to an worker who was unfairly terminated because of the coloration of her pores and skin? Who does that too?
Seems plenty of enterprise house owners do this. And different unhealthy issues too.
When you don’t imagine me then try the tallies the federal government retains. For instance, lower than a month in the past the US Equal Employment Alternative Fee launched detailed breakdowns of greater than 67,448 expenses of office discrimination claims the company acquired in simply its previous fiscal yr. The company stated it secured $439.2m for the victims of discrimination within the non-public sector and state and native authorities workplaces by means of voluntary resolutions and litigation. The Division of Labor just lately reported hundreds of circumstances from 2021 the place companies in industries starting from auto repairs to landscaping providers underpaid or mistreated staff.
And it’s not simply staff getting defrauded. For instance, there are the unbiased entrepreneurs that make their cash being social media influencers however who then dupe unwitting folks into giving them free stuff in return for pretend guarantees of a point out. Or the fraudulent freelancers working on well-known on-line platforms that take cash in return for doing no work in any respect. Or the unbiased contractors – like this one in Philadelphia – who allegedly collected funds for jobs akin to rest room renovations and residential reconstruction in return for … spoiler alert: not doing the work. The Federal Commerce Fee this yr acquired greater than 2.8m experiences of shopper fraud in opposition to companies starting from misleading credit score restore providers to these monsters which can be robo-calling my cell phone in the midst of the evening.
So what have I realized from all this analysis? It’s that despite the fact that it rankles me when folks accuse small companies of searching for earnings over their staff’ welfare, or paying too little, or appearing offensively or defrauding their prospects, I’ve to confess that in some circumstances … these folks might have a degree. It’s unhappy. However I can’t deny it.
After all, the overwhelming majority of small enterprise house owners are good individuals who run good companies and who care about their staff. However there are nonetheless greater than just some that, frankly, are usually not. So now when somebody does accuse a enterprise proprietor of doing one thing unseemly my kneejerk response isn’t to robotically dispute that individual’s declare. As a result of perhaps, simply perhaps, there’s some fact to that story.