Small businesses keep our community, the state and America’s economy growing strong! Shopping locally generates jobs for your neighbors and creates opportunities to build relationships with businesses. Here are ten ways that small businesses make a profound local impact:
1. Community Identity – From the mom-and-pop shop, the local CPA and dog grooming business, to an antiques emporium, coffee shop, yoga studio and beyond, small businesses contribute to a community’s identity.
2. Community Involvement – Small business owners are an integral part of the communities in which they live and work. They tend to be mindful of how their decisions may impact their neighbors. In addition, local entrepreneurs tend to be involved in the community.
3. Community Health – Many small business owners band together, forming casual or formal relationships, such as a merchant’s association or one-on-one mentoring relationships. These relationships contribute to the business community’s long-term success.
4. Environmental Benefits – Pedestrian-friendly communities have their own unique vibe and
environmental benefits. For example, small businesses near residential areas may reduce traffic congestion, resulting in better air quality and less urban sprawl.
5. Increasing the Tax Base – When residents shop at small businesses within their community, their tax dollars stay within the local economy, helping to improve their community. Likewise, local small businesses tend to buy locally as well, pumping more of their profits back into the community than chain stores, helping with economic development.
6. Local Jobs – Small businesses are job creators. Rather than having to commute to another city, employees work close to home. When a community has a vibrant commercial center, it also creates ample opportunities for these workers to support other local small businesses.
7. Entrepreneurship – Small businesses are the product of the business owner’s entrepreneurial spirit. Entrepreneurship fuels America’s economic innovation and prosperity and serves as a means for families to move out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class.
8. Innovation and Competition – Small businesses need to stand out from the crowd in order to survive. They must serve a legitimate need in the community and do it better than their competitors. Having multiple small businesses all striving to be unique and innovative, can result in a healthy marketplace and well-served consumers.
9. Less Infrastructure and Low Maintenance – Local retailers tend to require fewer public services and less infrastructure. While a new music store owner may require a business license and occupancy permit, the process of opening a shop is much less demanding on the city planning
department than building a new department store would be.
10. Diverse, Locally Made Products and Services – Locally made products can attract customers to a community, bolstering tourism and contributing to the local vibe. Locally made goods are also attractive to residents who want to minimize their carbon footprints, support local businesses, and keep their tax dollars close to home.