Among the millions of Thanksgiving gatherings around the country, there are amazing stories at every table. Relatives traveling from faraway places. Friends joining friends and family. Meaningful reunions within every town and every neighborhood.
It’s Thanksgiving in America, a galvanizing tradition that instills in us a sense of community and a feeling of togetherness. And somewhere between the Macy’s parade and the late-night snack of pumpkin pie, we sit down together for the Thanksgiving meal. In that familiar and special setting, we have the rare opportunity to reflect on the people and the things for which we’re thankful. It’s often a humbling moment that can render a smile or even a tear, and one that we’ll likely remember on the return trip home or even beyond.
I like that about Thanksgiving, the way it builds a bond with the people around you. It’s a tradition that reminds me of what America’s small businesses do for us every week of the year.
I work here at Vonage Business, so I have the opportunity to meet and serve many of the entrepreneurs and community leaders who run small businesses around the country. These men and women – and the small businesses they work so hard to build – represent the foundations of all our communities. They hire our family members and they provide the services, products and amenities that we rely on.
At the same time, every small business owner is assuming a risk as they follow their passion. It’s most often tireless work that far exceeds “working hours” and weekdays. Their businesses support their own families and the families of their employees. And collectively, they drive our broader American economy. It’s pretty heady stuff, when you think of what these business owners and innovators have at stake.
The beautiful part, for all of us, is that their businesses are located within each of our cities and towns. They’re here for each of us, and they’re the fabric of what we call our community, our home town. I’m grateful for that and I’m in awe of that. And I support them through the sleepless nights they worry about inventory, staffing, payroll and their bottom line.
On Thursday, when you look around the Thanksgiving table, there’s a good chance someone there is directly involved in an American small business. A business owner, an employee, a supplier. Like you, they’ve assembled to celebrate the things they’re most thankful for, and to share a sense of community with their family and friends gathered together.
But true to their commitments as small business professionals – many, many of them will be traveling home on Thanksgiving night or going to bed early. The coming day is Black Friday and the next is Small Business Saturday. And within each of their communities, their customers and neighbors will be there early to shop and to visit their local businesses.
I’m thankful for the small businesses that grace our communities, and on behalf of my own company, I can’t think of a better occasion to express my respect and appreciation.