TINY Is Powerful, TINY Is Energy

Oct 16, 2019

by Theron Snype, conNECKtedTOO TINY Business Coordinator

The Small Business Administration (SBA) counts companies with as much as $35.5 million in sales and 1500 employees as “small businesses,” depending on the industry. Outside government, companies with less than $7 million in sales and fewer than five hundred employees are widely considered small businesses. According to the SBA, over 99 per cent of the businesses in the U.S. are small businesses.

ConNECKtedTOO, a project of ART & CULTURE IN/WITH COMMUNITY FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, seeks to involve a classification of businesses we have labeled as TINY Businesses. An all inclusive definition of a TINY business has not been formulated and is evolving. Attempts to define TINY businesses have suggested factors including not only number of employees and amount of annual gross, but also:

  • A business in which growth has been minimal whether by environment, societal factors or personal choice.
  • A business with historical significance (i.e., length of time in operation, unique product or service offered, location and/or legendary associations) and:
  • A business in which ownership is willing to participate in the concept and activities of the “network” as defined by the ConNECKtedTOO

So, what is the basis for the title of this narrative, TINY Is Powerful / TINY is Energy? Power relating to a business is not always connected to profitability, annual gross or number of employees. Is a neighborhood small grocery store not powerful when it is that community’s sole source of fresh produce? When a small credit union, founded by African Americans more than six decades ago, is still the only minority owned banking establishment in a market the size of Charleston, SC, I would consider that institution to be culturally powerful in this community. When a small minority owned florist shop in business 40+ years has survived in a gentrified neighborhood with historically only the owner or one other employee, a sense of “place” is established. Again, this is culturally powerful.

So, as declared in our mission statement, ConNECKtedTOO will seek out and involve tiny business partners to support and promote TINY BUSINESS in Charleston as a vital part of commerce and neighborhood. We seek to involve youth through building mentorship and apprenticeship programs while fully embracing the arts and the spirit of the arts as activators of sustainability.