Small Business Week, 1971
By the President of the United States of America
The American tradition of independent enterprise is as old as our society itself. The freemen who tended little stores, ran coastwise shipping, traded in furs, or made candles helped this tradition put down deep roots early in our history. "What most astonishes me," wrote de Tocqueville as he took the measure of our young nation in the 1830s, "is not so much the marvelous grandeur of some undertakings as the innumerable multitude of small ones." From such beginnings, small business has grown into one of the principal economic forces in this, the world's greatest industrial nation.
Today—its name aside—small business is big. Nineteen United States firms in twenty are small businesses. They do nearly three-fourths of the total volume of sales and one-third of all manufacturing. For the industry and resourcefulness which millions of Americans invest in them as owners and employees, they return not only profits but also the rich rewards of self-reliance. They contribute to the wide diversity of our society and our economy, and they offer members of disadvantaged minority groups an open door into full participation in the Nation's prosperity—a door through which black Americans, Spanish-speaking Americans, Indians, and other minority enterprisers are now passing in increasing numbers.
But if small business is to realize its full potential in the years ahead, it needs and deserves wholehearted support from citizens and the business community as a whole, as well as the strong encouragement it already receives from government.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD NIXON, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate the week beginning May 16, 1971, as Small Business Week. I ask all Americans and their business organizations to join with me during this week in paying tribute to the accomplishments of small business and in helping small business toward continued strength and success.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-fifth.