Labor Day in Sedona



September 3, 2021

Multi-cultural group of young contemporary men and woman of various occupations in their uniform standing against American flagHappy Labor Day weekend! The semiofficial end of summer means some well-earned rest and relaxation for many of us. Still, thousands of employees from around greater Sedona will be hard at work, keeping our economy humming, providing us with all the goods and services we have come to expect. This weekend, we take a moment to honor their dedication to service us, as well as the resilience of our small businesses in the face of continued adversity.

It’s no secret that nationwide, we face a chronic worker shortage this Labor Day. Finding solutions is critical to our economic sustainability. At the chamber, we are taking action, initiating our annual lodging industry wage study to provide managers with crucial data that can help inform their hiring decisions. In the coming weeks, I will also be convening a Small Business Roundtable to hear how the crisis is impacting them specifically, and how the chamber can better assist.

According to the Peterson Institute for International Economics, 4.4 million new businesses were started in 2020, up 24% year over year, posting the biggest increase on record. A huge number of these were microbusinesses, defined as small businesses with 1-5 employees, counting the owner.

Since the pandemic began changing the world, more people than ever, particularly women representing 39% of new businesses formed, are starting micro-businesses, particularly from home. During COVID-induced isolation, many people discovered that they could operate successfully from home without the expense and hassle of a regular commute.

Today, more people pursue work that appeals to their lifestyle or offers a specialized service to several employers instead of just one. The most profitable micro-businesses are home improvement and cleaning services, delivery, digital marketing, and app development.

Micro-businesses are fertile areas for local and regional growth; they have already contributed to creating over 26 million jobs, more than any single industry, and make up a staggering 90% of all registered U.S. businesses. You may not be surprised to learn that people operating a successful micro-business report being happier and more productive than at their previous job.

Micro- and small businesses will be critical in the diversified, sustainable regional economy we are building together. But they face challenges, and we are here to help. A study by U.S. Bank shows most small business failures are due to poor financial management, with the second most common reason being no market for their products or services.

A major part of our mission is to assist budding business owners. Working with the Yavapai College Small Business Development Center, the Small Business Administration and SCORE (Senior Corp of Retired Executives), we bring resources that help entrepreneurs thrive. For small and micro-businesses, working with the chamber is like having a co-founder whose only interest is making you a success.

Many new owners lack a deep knowledge of payroll, finance, marketing and taxes. We connect them with expert advice so they can stay focused on building their customer base. Health care is always a challenge, and while there are no easy solutions to finding high-quality care, we can help businesses find their best options.

As micro-businesses expand their role in the American and greater Sedona economies, the chamber is ready to support every dreamer unafraid to work hard and commit to their goals. No life purpose is more worthy of recognition on a Labor Day weekend than following your north star.

Stay tuned for more information on the Small Business Roundtable be sure to check out for existing resources to help grow your business.

And enjoy the holiday!

-Candace Carr Strauss,