Why Entrepreneurs Need to Support Small Businesses

As more and more big box stores are opened across the nation, it gets harder and harder for small businesses to stay open. The small business struggle became official in 2011, when “Washington officials, including President Obama, recognized Small Business Saturday.” Small Business Saturday is the Saturday following Thanksgiving, and follows what is commonly known as “Black Friday.”

American Express launched this small business campaign in 2010, and its popularity has continued to grow over the years. In 2012, American Express offered small business owners free ads to spread on the internet. For the year 2012, an estimated $5.5 billion had been spent across the United States at small businesses. The following year, neighborhoods took up the slogan and began promoting the day. By 2015, more than 95 million people chose to visit small businesses on Small Business Saturday, and spending reached a whopping $16.2 billion.

Although this campaign has helped increase awareness in communities, it is important for small businesses to practice what they preach. As an owner of a small business, it can be tempting to shop online or at chain retail outlets where prices are cheaper. However, there are many advantages to giving fellow small businesses as much business as possible. This kind of shopping is called business-to-business (B2B), and it can have a great effect on the local economy.

Giving a fellow small business your hard-earned money will go a long way for the local economy. Studies show that it will result in community reinvestment, job creation, and giving back. A study by Independent We Stand, the North American Retail Hardware Association and Civic Economics have discovered that business-to-business purchases kept more than double that amount of money in the local economy as purchases made at chain stores.

Taxes are another way that money stays within local communities. When you shop locally, the tax you pay on your purchase goes toward the schools, roads, and libraries right in your home town.

The Home Sweet Home did another study: Pros’ Edition showed that if all contractors shifted 10 percent of their purchase from chain stores to local businesses, local economies across the nation would benefit from an additional $1.5 billion. What a huge effect that would make on our local communities!

Many small businesses support local sports teams, charities, and events. When supporting a local business, you are likely indirectly supporting the youth and needy in your community.

One of the main draws local businesses have is their unique personality and one-of-a-kind products. When small businesses shop at chain stores for their products, they lost their uniqueness. According to a study by SCORE, 63 percent of consumers shop locally because they want to support local businesses, while 54 percent of consumers shop locally for the one-of-a-kind experience small businesses offer.

What would customers think if they knew your small business didn’t support other small businesses? Setting the right example can go a long way for customer impact and draw. Businesses like Top Shelf Appliance support other local businesses and are proud to inform their consumers by stating it on their website, or through flyers if they own a physical business.

Additionally, consider recommending or promoting other small businesses that complement or enhance the products or services that your small business offers. Facebook is a great way to “like” local businesses via your small business page.

Supporting small businesses will likely result in other small business supporting you. According to the National Main Street Center, organizations such as Main Street and “buy local” campaigns have generated a net gain of over 614,000 jobs and $74 billion in reinvestment over the last three decades.

Knowing and talking about other local small businesses helps develop a sense of community and camaraderie that can be priceless in a community setting. There is something invaluable about a group of people that live and work together for the common good.

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