American small business owners are great! … except for the thousands that are not | american small business

WWe all know that our small business owners are the lifeblood of the American economy. We are approximately 30 million and we provide more than half of the jobs in this country. Everybody seems to like us. Politicians court us. The big brands take their hats off to us. Each year we celebrate our small business community with Small Business Week, Small Business Saturday, National Entrepreneurship Month, and many other days honoring independent workers and minority business owners.

Hooray for us! But you know what? As much as I am an advocate and voice for my fellow small business brothers, even I have to admit that not all small business owners are worthy of such praise. Some, in fact, are not worthy at all.

There are the owners of restaurants, like these in California, Michigan and Oregon to name just a few, who brazenly and recklessly defied local Covid regulations and put their customers and employees at risk of dying from something other than the and coli in your food. Wave dentist in wisconsin who broke his patients’ teeth to file bogus insurance claims (wow!).

And let’s not forget the seemingly incalculable number of small business owners, such as the operators of a technology company and a confectionery business in Massachusetts, the genius who ran a real estate company in Pennsylvania, the serial scammer of Delaware and the Twins who oversaw multiple businesses in California who defrauded the federal government by submitting false claims for Covid relief funds because, hey, why should that money go to people who really needed it, right?

Or how about him manufacturer in georgia Who was ordered to pay $250,000 after firing a disabled employee? Who does that? or the region water utility company in minnesota Who was told to pay $45,000 to an employee who was wrongfully terminated because of the color of her skin? Who does that too?

Turns out a lot of business owners do just that. And other bad things too.

If you don’t believe me, check the government accounts. For example, less than a month ago, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. published detailed breakdowns of more than 67,448 charges of workplace discrimination claims the agency received in its last fiscal year. The agency said it secured $439.2 million for victims of discrimination in the private sector and state and local government workplaces through voluntary settlements and litigation. The Department of Labor recently reported thousands of cases from 2021 where companies in industries ranging from auto repairs to landscaping services underpaid or mistreated employees.

And it’s not just employees who are let down. For example, there are the independent entrepreneurs who make their money by being social media influencers but who then trick unwitting people into giving them free stuff in exchange for bogus promises of a mention. Wave fraudulent self-employed operating on well-known online platforms that receive money in exchange for not doing any work. Or independent contractors, like this in philadelphia – who allegedly collected payments for jobs like bathroom renovations and home rebuilding in exchange for… spoiler alert: not getting the job done. The Federal Trade Commission this year received more than 2.8 million reports of consumer fraud against companies ranging from deceptive credit repair services to those monsters that are robocalls my mobile phone in the middle of the night.

So what have I learned from all this research? It’s just that it pains me when people accuse small businesses of seeking profit over the welfare of their employees, or paying too little, or acting offensively or ripping off their customers, I have to admit that in some cases. .. these people may have a point. It’s sad. But I can’t deny it.

Of course, the vast majority of small business owners are good people who run good businesses and care about their employees. But there are still more than a few that, frankly, aren’t. So now, when someone accuses a business owner of doing something unseemly, my knee-jerk reaction is not to automatically dispute that person’s claim. Because maybe, just maybe, there is some truth to that story.

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