Reagan and Small Business

Here at Small Business Trends we avoid taking political positions. So you won’t find us debating John Kerry’s position on small business policy, for instance.

But, as a matter of business insight, I think it is fair game to include the following quotes of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan as he described the challenges faced by small businesses and entrepreneurs:

Reagan noted in a June 1983 speech: “We hear so much about the greed of business. Well, frankly, I’d like to hear a little more about the courage, generosity, and creativity of business. I’d like to hear it pointed out that entrepreneurs don’t have guaranteed annual incomes. Before they can turn a profit, they must anticipate and deliver what consumers want…. The truth is, before entrepreneurs can take, they must give.”

Reagan also was famous for using humor to make his points. In an April 1982 speech before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, he observed: “Winston Churchill said that some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few see it as the sturdy horse pulling the wagon. Well, this administration believes the workers, savers, investors, and the entrepreneurs of America have been milked and shot at long enough.”

Even today, two decades later, President Reagan’s description of small businesses and entrepreneurs remains as accurate as ever: (1) No guaranteed income. (2) Must anticipate their customers’ needs. (3) Must deliver before they reap the rewards. (4) Drivers of the economy.

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Anita Campbell - CEO

Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses, and also serves as CEO of

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