Small businesses are a significant driver of the American economy—providing jobs, innovation, and growth.
The CNBC Small Business Council, an exclusive group of 16 executives, provides insight about the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners in a variety of industries and sectors.
Every day, they're on the front lines of capitalism, dealing with issues ranging from hiring and health care to credit and debt to taxes and regulation.
These entrepreneurs represent a wide range of businesses, including retail, manufacturing, construction, energy, technology, and banking. They employ between 26 and 450 people and generate between $400,000 and 1.1 billion in annual revenue.
Will one of them become the next Caterpillar, Google, or Wal-Mart? Only time will tell.
Here are the 16 CNBC Small Business Council members. Look for them on-air and online.
Cristi Cristich, Founder and CEO of Cristek Interconnects
Sector: High Tech Components
Revenue: 2010: $13.1 Million
Manufacturer of electro mechanical assemblies and components used in smart weapons, space applications and biomedical devices.
Beezer Molten, Owner and President of Half-Moon Outfitters
Sector: Outdoor Leisure
Revenue: 2010: $12.1 Million
Eight retail stores and an online destination catering to outdoor, adventure and travel enthusiasts.
David Greenspon, President and Owner of Competitive Edge Advertising Specialty Manufacturing Company
Sector: Specialty Branding
Revenue: 2010: $26.7 Million
Manufacturer and distributor of custom promotional products, awards and apparel for corporate, government, and non-profit companies.
Justin Moore, CEO and Co-Founder of Axcient
Sector: Software & Data Management
Revenue: 2010: $4 Million
Provider of data backup, business continuity and recovery services to small and medium sized businesses.
Larry Mocha, President of Air Power Systems Company
Revenue: 2010: $5.5 Million
Manufacturer of pneumatic air cylinder controls and valves for the mobile, truck equipment, and automotive markets.
Joseph Brakohiapa, President and CEO of Clean Power FinanceIndustry: Energy
Sector: Alternative Energy Software & Management
Revenue: 2010: $1.4 Million
Provider of software platforms and financing for solar projects to installers, manufacturers and distributors.
Madelyn Alfano, Owner and President of Maria's Italian Kitchen
Industry: Restaurant and Hospitality
Sector: Specialty Dining
Revenue: 2010: $18.1 Million
Chain of ten privately owned authentic Italian restaurants.
Ronald T. Barnes, Chairman of Midwest BankCentre
Sector: Community Banking
Total Assets: 2010: $1.1 Billion
Seven full-service community banks that primarily serve the needs of small businesses.
David Greiner, President of Greiner Buick GMC
Revenue: 2010: $33.4 Million
Automotive dealership that sells new and pre-owned vehicles and is a distributor of wholesale parts and accessories.
Marc Schupan, President and CEO of Schupan & Sons
Sector: Metals & Plastics
Revenue: 2010: $230 Million
Distributor and fabricator of metal and plastic products, industrial scrap metal processor and marketer of recyclable beverage containers.
Joseph Anfuso, President of Florsheim Homes LLC
Sector: Residential Construction
Revenue: 2010: $20.8 Million
Regional homebuilding and development company specializing in entry level, first-time buyer homes.
Mitch Free, Chairman and CEO of MFG.com
Industry: Manufacturing Services
Sector: B to B Collaboration
Revenue: 2010: $20 Million
Online global sourcing platform that connects buyers and suppliers of manufacturing services.
Joseph Dutra, President and CEO of Kimmie Candy Company
Industry: Specialty Foods
Sector: Candy Manufacturing
Revenue: 2010: $2.8 Million
Manufacturer and distributer of panned candies to domestic and international markets.
Ric Cabot, Owner and Founder of Darn Tough VermontIndustry: Manufacturing
Sector: Specialty Retail
Revenue: 2010: $4.2 Million
Domestic manufacturer of all weather performance socks for the outdoor specialty market.
Brandon Fisher, Founder and President of Center Rock, Inc.
Sector: Drilling, Mining and Construction Services
Revenue 2010: $20 Million
Manufacturer and distributor of drilling tools and products used by domestic and international drilling, oil and gas, mining and construction contractors.
Farid Virani, President and CEO of Prime Communications
Sector: Digital Products and Services
Revenue 2010: $131 Million
Authorized Retailer of AT&T products & services including mobile phones, digital TV and Internet.
Watch members of the Small Business Council on CNBC programs. Here are some recent appearances: