Hire Just One

Sharing the conviction that the best way out of the recession is through small businesses is millionaire Gene Epstein of Philadelphia. He made $1,000 gifts to charity on behalf of the first 250 businesses that hired at least one new employee from the unemployment rolls. Within a few weeks, all 250 companies took him up on his offer.

Epstein says he knew that charitable gifts would not be the primary motivator for businesses to hire; rather, it would be the motivator to start the conversation since 80% of small businesses are now profitable but waiting….waiting for direction from Washington? Waiting to see what happens with taxes? Waiting to see the effects of programs that may…or may not…be implemented over the next two, three,four years?

“If, out of the 5.7 million small businesses in this country,” says Epstein, “only 10 percent invest in one new employee, the ripple effect will be absolutely monumental. It will be the beginning of a New Era.” Epstein’s simple theory goes like this: Hiring a new employee reduces the stress of other employees, who now feel more secure in their jobs, thus kick-starting their spending–with the money they’ve been tucking away in case they get laid off–for new cars, new major appliances, new houses.

At the same time, the new employees start spending their income on goods and services that they could not afford when they were unemployed. As other businesses follow suit, the demand for goods and services increases, leading to additional hiring. As employment figures increase, the stock market reacts positively, causing stocks and investment values to grow, increasing the value of pensions and retirement funds, enticing even more spending…leading to more jobs and the need for businesses to expand. The economy is restored.

“We cannot afford to wait for government to act,” says Epstein, “then legislate, and finally institute programs that are confusing and time consuming.” Epstein is absolutely right. Though the election is behind us, the contentious relationship between the parties guarantees that the vitriol is going to continue, impeding true governance. The moderate Democrats are now gone, leaving Congress in the hands of the extremes—both right and left—one side shouting “Repeal, repeal, repeal,” and the other vowing, “Veto, veto,veto.” Left in the boat with no oars. Yet, is that not enough?

We are Americans. We have shown the world time and again that when our backs are to the wall, there’s no obstacle we cannot overcome, no threat we dare not meet. It’s in our genes. We’ll make our own oars out of the boat’s seats. But if we do nothing, then we can expect the same. Approximately 500 businesses (excludingnon-profits and social members) belong to the Hobe Sound Chamber of Commerce. If 10% of them hired just one new employee, we would become part of Epstein’s ripple, and the cycle could begin here.To do our part, Hobe Sound Currents will write a full, feature story about each of the first 50 Hobe Sound Chamber of Commerce member businesses that responds to Gene Epstein’s motto – Hire Just One – and we will provide that business a quarterpage ad free in each issue of this newspaper for the next six months.

Let’s get to work on those oars together