This week we celebrate America’s independence.

On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed declaring our country’s independence from Great Britain. This national holiday, commonly referred to as the Fourth of July, is typically associated with fireworks, parades, and summer parties.

But independence has a broader meaning for small business owners.

The spirit of independence is what motivates many entrepreneurs—the opportunity to become your own boss and create your own destiny.

Small businesses are the backbone of local communities. They create jobs, hire local service providers, and are often the first to support local community projects. For example, in some local areas where city budgets are bust, it’s the small business community raising the funds needed to put on local firework displays.

Experts report for every $100 spent with a local business, $70-80 is returned to the community. Yet many businesses suffer or go out of business when large chain competitors arrive on the scene.

So this week, as the country celebrates its independence, it’s a good time to celebrate the independence of the small business owner, too.

And if you are a small business owner, celebrate your own independence. Give yourself a high-five. Starting and growing your own enterprise is challenging to say the least. But you—as with all entrepreneurs—are an independent thinker and visionary who enjoy building something on your own.

Remember, our country was founded on the spirit of entrepreneurship. Our ancestors who came to America did so with a vision of freedom and a desire to build a better life. Today that spirit continues to thrive in our country. Owning your own business is for many—the American Dream.

It’s an interesting time in our country’s economic history as more and more people are striking out on their own. I applaud you for your efforts, your tenacity, and your willingness to take a risk. We are all fortunate, despite the current economic turmoil, to live in a free society that allows us to make it on our own.

Happy Independence Day America! And happy Independence Day to my fellow entrepreneurs!

Let the celebration begin!