I noticed a good response to my last post about the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon, so I thought I'd add a bit more fuel to the fire and tell you about my feelings towards Wall Street and how the Street overlooks the needs of middle market companies, such as Shamrock.
A few days ago I was listening to Talk of the Nation on National Public Radio (NPR), hosted by Neal Conan. I've got to tell you, I was shaking my head and shouting, "Yes!" to practically every sentence. Neal was discussing a recent study conducted by the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University. If you're interested, you can listen to or read the whole thing here: OSU mid-size business study
Neal's guests included Marilyn Geewax, senior business editor, NPR and Christine Poon, dean, Fisher College of Business. Essentially, the study concluded that middle-market companies added 2 million workers in recent years. Yet, despite their growth, they tend to lack the lobbyists, government supporters and associations that small and big businesses enjoy -- and that's my major beef.
Neal stated that mid-market businesses get overlooked by Wall Street and by Washington, when he said: "Small businesses are the politicians' darling. Lawmakers proclaim that small-scale entrepreneurs will be the engine of economic recovery. Others (in Washington) argue that it's big businesses that really drive the economy... they employ thousands of people all across the country or the globe. Yet, a recent study concludes that they're both wrong, it's the middle market that's doing the hiring. As small businesses treaded water and big employers shed millions of job, mid-sized companies added some two million workers in the last couple of years. And they do all that without the help of the Small Business Administration or the Chamber of Commerce."
Ms. Geewax went on to say that middle-market businesses make up only 200,000 companies -- a mere 3 percent of all companies in the US, and yet they end up contributing about 34 percent of all private employment -- which comes out to about 41 million jobs in this country!
She went on to paint a picture that seems to reflect Shamrock. Ms. Geewax called middle-market companies "...pillars of their community... who support the Little League team, and they go to the Rotary meetings, and they're very much a part of American life... and they have these very face-to-face relationships with their customers. So when hard times hit, they don't panic so much... they don't grow so quickly, but they're just steady (and) that's really where the job growth has been. They're more stable than small businesses, but they are of course much smaller than the large multinationals and so have less ability to shape or have a voice when it has to do with regulations or public policy or legislation." Amen to that!
FINAL THOUGHT...Hey, Wall Street and Washington, wake up! It's the hard-working, mid-size businesses that will rebuild our economy. Perhaps you should start paying more attention to our needs.