Helping the little guy

June 25, 2015

Each day it is an ongoing struggle for a small business or startups to find their place in a complex and competitive world. This is especially true, when there are too many “giants” in the land of opportunity and from the world’s largest economy.

It is so clear on all levels and sectors of our modern society, when all you can see are “giants” seemly “hogging” up all the space. We see them in health care, housing, insurance, retail shopping, grocery stores, legal services, education, manufacturing and transportation. They fill the ad space, media outlets and it appears that they are sucking all the “air” out and at the same time squeezing out the “little guy.”


guy.” Sure these “giants” have the right to be there and to get what they believe is their fair share. In their defense, they can recite a long company history of providing a great service to customers, residents and the community. They would point out the number of meaningful jobs created, taxes paid, and contributions to special events, sponsoring countless youth activities and the like. No doubt, the impact and footprints of many so-called “giants” are truly noteworthy. This is what they should do and be expected to do as a way to demonstrate their commitment and citizenship through active engagement. Since they made or are making their fortunes from the community and are located in that community, it is only right that they should continue to “invest” or “reinvest” in that community.

What really is at issue here is that so many of the “giants,” find it quite difficult to share their success from a particular job or contract with many smaller vendors, companies and startups. Some top managers often do not see the overarching value of helping the small guy get a share of a major project. Some see these subcontractors as being in the way, a waste of time, lacking the capacity and will hold up the project. So many “giants” overlook the fact of what it takes to keep the “small guy” in business. It is not that they lack the capacity to help, but more or less, they lack the vision to see the needs and the role that the “small guy” plays in making the community stronger

On the other hand, some “giants” have awakened to the reality that these “small players” are becoming essential to landing the next big public or private contract. This will be how business will be done in the future and collaboration will be the key. Even with a growing understanding of the place and need for small businesses in our modern society, there is still more work that needs to be done to support the “small guy” and to keep them in the mix. It does not take much for the “little guy” to exist; all they are asking for is a chance. Some businesses have been called “too big to fail,” but without some meaningful work the “little guy” is all but gone. What do you think?

Dr. Andrew Calhoun, can be contacted at andrewiiicalhoun@, Twitter #AC53, and Facebook. You can hear Dr. Calhoun each Sunday at Grace Fellowship Church, 3879 N. Port Washington Rd. Milwaukee 414-265-5546.
The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the writer and not of the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper or NCON Communication, its staff or management. “Rebuilding Our Community” is a weekly column exclusive to the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper.