With the pandemic still raging forward, now — more than ever before — we must support the small businesses and entrepreneurs that make up our communities. According to the Small Business Administration, in 2019 there were approximately 30.7 million small businesses in the United States, which accounted for 99.9% all U.S. businesses. Small businesses, which employ less than 50 individuals, create over 1.5 million jobs annually and account for more than 64% of all new jobs created in the nation.
Because of the pandemic, we are seeing that smaller companies with fewer than 20 employees being impacted the most by cutting hours, laying-off or terminating staff and no longer using consultants or subcontractors. This most likely is due to a lack of cashflow and accessible capital.
Small businesses and up-and-coming entrepreneurs can be the backbone of our communities, creating new jobs, boosting the local economy, and bringing life, charm and character to otherwise empty storefronts.
“Entrepreneurs and small businesses are truly the lifeblood of our economy,” said Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership President and CEO Justin Horvath. “They create jobs for local residents, buy goods and services from other area firms, donate to nonprofits and community causes, and pay taxes to support schools and governments. In return, we must do everything we can to support their efforts to succeed,”
Why shop and buy local? When supporting the small businesses and entrepreneurs that make up our communities, we keep the local economy flowing and robust. When we spend $100 shopping local, $68 stays in our communities, but when we utilize online businesses like Amazon or Walmart, only $43 of every $100 we spend remains. Additionally, shopping local can lead to a multiplier effect, helping create strong, vibrant and healthy communities.
Other benefits to shopping local include finding one-of-a-kind, unique or handmade gifts; receiving customized and personalized customer service; enhancing our sense of community; and reducing our carbon footprint by not traveling long distances to shop at the mall or big-box stores.
So, the next time you need that perfect gift; a birthday card; lunch, dinner or a tasty treat; head down the street and shop local.