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This new year – and new decade – is a great time to start fresh with goals and inspiration. The beginning of a year is characterized for many folks with resolutions. Business owners know this is a great time to set priorities. If you are anxious to get a head start on planning the year ahead of you, don’t forget to look at how far your business has come.

Here in Washington, the Senate had an important year and made progress on issues from budget reform to confirming federal judges. The Senate also recently confirmed a new small business administrator, so the administration can continue to offer counseling, business tools and more. But one of the best parts of my year was the chance to travel our state, meeting small business owners and seeing their passions. Last year, I saw the unique places that make our state “One of a Kind.” From coffee shops and restaurants to farms and hotels, Wyoming culture is surely seen best through local ventures. Just when I think I’ve seen it all, another hardworking person surprises me with their entrepreneurial spirit.

One of the efforts Congress is working on is the new trade deal for North America, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. Wyoming has so much to offer and gain when we share our products with the world. In 2018, Wyoming exported an impressive $270 million to Mexico and Canada, according to the United States Trade Representative. USMCA would be a modern trade deal built for modern workers. Small businesses would see an ease in new customs rules to make it easier to participate in more markets. Creating avenues for small businesses to grow and compete means more opportunities for Wyoming folks and communities.

To start the year off strong and to optimize your opportunities, consider attending one of the many workshops available for small business owners across the state. There are numerous classes, with a few being: getting your business online; starting a business with $5,000 or less; and a social media workshop. Check out the Wyoming Business Council calendar and the Wyoming Small Business Development Center Network upcoming trainings to find more events in your area.

Maybe this year you hired new staff, created new products or even opened an entirely new store. Remember to let to your passion for your ideas guide you. Wyoming runs on small businesses just like you.