SMALL BUSINESSES. They are the bread and butter of towns all across the country that make communities unique. According to the Small Business Administration, there are over 28.8 million small businesses in the United States! When you shop local, you aren’t just beefing up corporate America, you are supporting a family. You’re helping to pay for a kid’s basketball league or dance lessons. The owners are community members who have invested most of their life, financially and emotionally, into cultivating a business that benefits your neighborhood.
In honor of all local businesses, Small Business Saturday started in 2010 by American Express and has developed into an American shopping tradition. It encourages shoppers to support local brick-and-mortar businesses rather than big box brands and online-only stores. Shopping locally is so much more than just helping a family, but what exactly are the benefits of shopping small, and why should you do it on Small Business Saturday, and every day?
Improves Your Local Economy
When you shop locally the money you spend stays in your community. The sales taxes on your purchases are directed back to the city and county. They are used to support public schools, parks and roads, as well as fund public service workers, like firefighters. One Chicago study found that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 of it remained in that city, while only $43 of every $100 spent at a chain retailer stayed in that city. Small businesses help keep your local economy flowing and improves property values by having businesses open and buildings full.
You Know the People Behind the Business
A unique feature of small businesses is the connection of knowing the individuals who own the business. You are more likely to get to know the owner of a small business in your neighborhood than the owner of the Walgreens or Costco. Shopping local also means you can get an expert opinion about the products you are purchasing. Local shop owners have to be experts in their field in order to compete! They have to be passionate about their product which then transitions into a high level of customer service. This then leads to a deeper connection to the business.
Builds Community Character
Small businesses are what make communities unique. They are specialized, one-of-a-kind businesses that cater to the atmosphere and needs of the town and its tourism. Small businesses bring communities together to celebrate the successes and join together as one in the hard times. They build community character because they are investing in value. People who own businesses live in the community and are involved in the town decision making. They are out there sponsoring sports teams and giving back to local causes. Did you know that small businesses donate 250% more than large businesses to nonprofits and community causes? (Seattle Good Business Network) Small businesses show pride in their towns and dedicated to seeing them succeed.
Creates Local Jobs
There is a dream that many have to be able to live and work in the same town. Small businesses help make that dream a reality. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses accounted for 64% of new jobs created in the United States between 1993 and 2011. Small business owners are great employers. Their best interest is in growing their business to help the community and keep jobs local. They understand that everyone is striving to survive. With jobs being created where you live you, your friends, neighbors, and family can find jobs closer to home.
According to RetailMeNot’s 2017 Holiday Retail Trends and Guide, consumers plan to spend an average of $743 during the Black Friday to Cyber Monday shopping weekend. It’s hard to say exactly what will happen this year, but there are a variety of ways you can get involved in Small Business Saturday. Join the ranks of the 112 million people who are going out to shop small on Small Business Saturday. (American Express) Be the change and make an impact on your local economy!
By: Rebecca Clausen