The term “Small Business” is a bit of a misnomer. According to the Small Business Administration, these businesses generated approximately 63 percent of the new jobs created between 1993 and mid-2013 and account for about 54 percent of sales nationwide. With Small Business Saturday coming up fast, consider the economic benefits of shopping at small, local markets and retailers.
Money spent locally is more likely to stay in the community.
The research firm Civic Economics reported that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 stays in the local community. Small business owners live, operate and shop in the same community you do, so your dollars are used to pay salaries and commercial rents, as well as taxes that help your community grow and thrive. And compared to major retailers, small businesses put less strain on the local infrastructure and other resources.
Small businesses enhance tourism.
It’s unlikely that anybody would fly across the country to see the same office supply store, big box retailer and gourmet coffee shop they just left back home. From the funky storefronts of California’s beach communities to the charming red brick architecture of the East Coast, what makes communities appealing to tourists is their uniqueness. It can be seen in small specialty shops, craft breweries, community banks, and even family-owned restaurants. A sandwich is a sandwich, but an authentic Philly Cheese Steak, Chicago Hoagie, New York Sub, or Southern Po Boy is something special—always well worth the money and the trip.
Small businesses are invested in their communities.
Local businesspeople do more than sweep the sidewalks in front of their stores. They care about the community as a whole. They support highway cleanup efforts, contribute to local food banks, sponsor community arts and sports organizations, and participate in civic improvement projects. Large corporations aren’t set up to make minor or spur-of-the-moment contributions at the local level. Small businesses can quickly decide when and where their help is needed. Finally, most small business owners know that being active at the local level is good for the community and good for business.
Small businesses don’t necessarily stay small.
Like garage bands that catapult to fame, many garage businesses have grown to become the biggest employers in their town, state or country. In fact, homegrown companies such as Hewlett Packard now employ thousands of people worldwide. With that in mind, be sure to support local businesses on Small Business Saturday. You might just be planting the seeds for the next Apple Inc.
Do you have a small business success story? Share it in the Comments section.