SMALL BUSINESSES HAVE BIG IMPACT
They create most new jobs and help strengthen local communities. Small businesses employ over half of the U.S. private workforce and outnumber corporations by more than 1,000 to one. This sector is also responsible for creating 60 to 80 percent of new U.S. jobs.
The positive impact of small businesses doesn’t just stop with adding meaningful jobs to a community. Small businesses sponsor youth sports teams, support area nonprofits, and contribute in many other ways to growth and vitality of local economies. Small businesses also pay a share of taxes that would otherwise be shifted to homeowners and many provide leadership in areas such as environmentalism. In addition, they offer customers a personal touch that’s hard for larger companies to replicate.
Unfortunately, within five years of starting, about 50 percent of businesses fail. There are many reasons for this failure including poor budgeting, bad relations with customers or suppliers, and reluctance to seek assistance when needed. But some business failures are outside the control of business owners, and many of those who “fail” use the experience to learn and go on to succeed in other ventures.
Though much of the responsibility for the success of a business is on the owner and employees, consumers can do a lot to support the small businesses they believe in. In 2010, American Express launched an initiative to help individuals and companies do just that. Named Small Business Saturday, the initiative falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving each year and encourages holiday shoppers to purchase from small and local businesses on this day. Participating in Small Business Saturday is one way to support small businesses; another is to remember to support them throughout the year.
If you work at a company that purchases products or services from small businesses, let others know when they do a great job. This can be done through word of mouth, by posting positive reviews on the company’s website, or via social media.
Make it a point to do business with local small businesses, even if it costs a little more. In doing so, you’re helping your local community thrive.