A note from our editor, Elizabeth MacBride:
Important news in the world of small business policy today, including an announcement about reforms to Big Tech governance, and a holdup in the federal program that funds innovation. And, I’m thrilled to say that I’ll be traveling to Pittsburgh in the next few weeks, continuing my coverage in the former Rust Belt. This is thanks to a new sponsorship from Amory Square Ventures. More on all that to come in this newsletter and others.
But first I wanted to write a personal note about Queen Elizabeth II.
I felt a profound loss when I heard the news of her death – a sense that caught me off guard. The news was, after all, expected.
I heard the news from a Ghanaian man a few seats away from me in a classroom in Washington, D.C. Through the history of the British Empire, the Queen connected so much of the world. Connections, even when they are tenuous and complicated, and woven through the violent history of an Empire, are rare, and valuable.
Of course, the royal family of Great Britain seems like an anachronism. Part of growing up as an American is learning the inheritance of colonialism and privilege; part of growing up female is learning that princesses need to rescue themselves, and not through marriage.
Duty also seems like an anachronism when you’re young. Why should you have an allegiance to the past, when your responsibility is to create a better future? But growing up in general means gaining a fuller understanding of what duty is: Not an obligation to the past, but to the people around you with whom you share a past.
The news about Elizabeth Windsor’s family has been a drumbeat for my whole life. In that cacophony, her part was to embody duty. The photos and videos of her, in mint green, or pink, or powder blue, smiling, hatted, always with a handbag over her arm, eventually were revelatory. Duty can be joyful, in the end. That’s what I’ll miss – the smiling reminder that duty is a privilege, too.
This is the last summertime Times of E newsletter. We’re shifting to a twice-a-month cadence as the publication goes to a more magazine style that will allow us to do more deep journalism. There are so few people covering small business and entrepreneurship well.