As we take time to reflect on our freedoms and the sacrifices of those who have shaped the America we live in today, we honor the visionaries, dreamers and doers. America was built by those who dared to dream, renounce conventions and fight for something much bigger than themselves. Chances are when you became a small business owner, or began to embrace your entrepreneurial spirit, you were driven by visions of independence—determined to transform your unique ideas into realities. For most people, part of the allure of small business ownership is giving up the old 9-to-5 in exchange for full control in the driver’s seat. Set your own hours, spark your own innovations and execute your own strategies. Six in ten small businesses are independently run, meaning they have no employees, according to the 2017 TD Bank Small Business Survey. These entrepreneurs are blazing trails and they’re doing so singlehandedly. No matter how small, your business is a piece of the puzzle that fuels the American economy. Whether you operate alone or with a handful or employees, as a small business owner, you’re a key part of your local community, too. You have power to influence, inspire and connect. When it comes to building strong local economies and thriving communities, small businesses play a big part. But if you want to connect with more customers, accelerate the growth of your business, and more importantly, become an industry leader, it’s important to recognize the power of being more connected to, and even more reliant on, others in your network. Consider these opportunities for becoming more interdependent to increase your impact: \tAsk for help. Hire employees so you can delegate the daily tasks and functions that keep you from focusing on the bigger picture. You’ll free up time and mental energy to spend zeroed in on longer term growth strategies that will increase your revenue. \tParticipate in a network. As a small business owner you’ll find great value in contributing to and participating in a community network where you can leverage training programs, share experiences with other business owners and build a support system. According to Facebook’s latest Future of Business survey, when businesses connect and learn from each other, they are more confident about their local economy and in the future state of their own businesses. Use a social platform to connect with other small business owners who share your vision for building a strong local economy and helping each other grow. \tShare technical knowledge. Technology is accelerating business growth at lightening speed, but keeping up with the latest and greatest can be tough when you’re head down running a business. According to the Facebook business study, globally, 42 percent of businesses said that learning from each other is one of the primary ways they find information to master the new mobile environment, second only to online searches (64 percent). When you’re trying to master a new digital skill, don’t shy away from turning to other business owners in your network for help, and be willing to share what you’ve learned with others. At Lendio, our mission is to Fuel the American Dream through small business loans. On Independence Day and every day, we champion the small business owners who have become the backbone of our local economies and the driving force behind our collective dreams and aspirations. America started as just an idea and it became legendary. It became something bigger than any of our founding fathers had imagined it could be. This great nation surpassed their dreams, and now it’s your turn to surpass yours. You may be a small business owner, but when you’re interconnected with a community of other like-minded entrepreneurs, your impact is anything but small. Together you’re stronger, your reach is wider and your potential for growth is far greater.