Although the unemployment rate has been above eight percent for the last several years, the jobs growth numbers for July are the strongest since February and better than expected. "The government uses two surveys to measure employment," writes Christopher S. Rugaber for the Huff Post. A survey of businesses showed job gains. The unemployment rate comes from a survey of households and is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed people by the size of the labor force. In July, more people said they were unemployed, while the size of the labor force shrank even more." "Economists say the business survey is more reliable," he added. Most small business owners I've known over the years are "glass half full" sort of people. I think it's safe to say that's likely one reason why the job numbers are up in July. What's more, the economy has added somewhere around 151,000 jobs a month all this year—I think that is positive news. Although we're experiencing the weakest recovery since the Great Depression, there is a bright spot. "For context, the economy now produces as many goods and services—more, in fact—as it did before the downturn officially began in December 2007," writes Catherine Rampell for the New York Times. "But does it with almost five million fewer jobs." "The job gains were broad-based. Manufacturing added 25,000 jobs, the most since March," continues Rugaber. "Restaurants and bars added 29,000. Retailers hired 7,000 more workers. Education and healthcare services gained 38,000. Governments cut 9,000 position." It sounds to me like small businesses are a big part of the job growth numbers for July, meaning the challenge now is for companies to start creating new products, new opportunities and new services—and the jobs that come along with them. I think we've demonstrated that American business can be efficient. Now, let's show the world that a smart and savvy small business can thrive, even in a difficult economy. Mike Lacey of Highland Custom homes is just such an entrepreneur. He started his construction company right as the economy fell apart, yet his business is doing well—better than well in fact. There are others just like Mike out there. Millions of you. Small business owners who buck the trend and are succeeding in this down economy. I'd like to share your stories here. Tell us what you're doing to find success and let's show the economists that 163,000 new jobs in July is only the beginning.