Do you make an effort to shop small in your local community?
It's true that small businesses are the backbone of the US economy. Did you know that small businesses represent 99.7% of all US businesses? Not only do small businesses make up nearly half of non-farm GDP they cumulatively employ roughly 48% of the US workforce. All these facts are reported by Small Business Profile in the US Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy.
American Express founded an annual movement back in 2010 that promotes the importance of supporting smaller businesses in communities across America. It's called Small Business Saturday and is now considered a holiday shopping tradition. Small Business Saturday takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year the movement will land on November 25, 2017.
Did you know that for every $100 dollars spent locally with independent businesses that $48 gets reinvested back into the local community? While, the opposite is true when you spend that same $100 at chain stores, a mere $14 gets reinvested back into the community.
If we take all of the above mentioned data out of the equation, independent businesses give back so much more to our communities. Besides the investment in the local economy, they also bring new ideas, innovation, and a commitment to invest in our communities. But more importantly as Paul Nugent writes for ShopKeep small businesses help create the community's identity, and they keep the tax dollars within the community among a whole hosts of other reasons.
This not only true on the consumer side but the North America Retail Hardware Association and Independent We Stand recently completed a study where it shows the same is true for the professional side of home improvement. Builders, contractors and trades people can impact their local communities by buying local.
The bottom line is that small businesses keep our local economy strong and that just feeds into the national economy. And, it's all personal because the small business customer represents your friends, relatives and neighbors. If you think about it, it's odd that we have to be nudged to shop small. Because small businesses often have the unique items and customized services. And, who wouldn't want those?
I really do love independent businesses. Because you find a passion and energy that is contagious; and, makes you want to be part of something that is different and personal.
So after we come out of our food coma from Thanksgiving let's think BIG and shop SMALL and join the Small Business Saturday movement on November 25. I know I will!
Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and Founder of the eRetailer Summit. Sonya has extensive experience in creating original innovative solutions to overcome major business challenges. Sonya has spent most of her career visiting headquarters across global industries and has built strong business relationships across diverse brands.
Sonya has a M.B.A. in Marketing. She is married and has a daughter and they live in Fairfield County Connecticut.