By the President of the United States of America
Small business has been the economic backbone of American life since the earliest colonial days. Traders, craftsmen and merchants spurred the economy and played a vital role in the Nation's westward movement and growth. They helped create the multitude of opportunities which have become the hallmark of our free enterprise system-a system which has made American progress the envy of the world.
There are 13.9 million businesses in the United States today, and 13.4 million are small, including nearly three million farms. Together, they provide employment for over half the business labor force and account for more than 48 percent of the gross business product. They are an important source of the major innovations that create new markets and improve our quality of life. America's prestige in the world today could never have been achieved without this outstanding productivity by small business.
Meetings are currently being held in every State of the Union in preparation for the first White House Conference on Small Business which I have called for in January of 1980. This year, every small business man and woman and indeed, every American, should be giving serious thought to how we may best secure and expand the small business sector of our economy in the years ahead.
Now, THEREFORE, I, JIMMY CARTER, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning May 13, 1979, as Small Business Week, and I call on every American to join me in this very special tribute.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of February, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and third.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 1:55 p.m., February 23, 1979]